Some of the many volunteers who help with the Big Breakfast.

Scilla Greenland

The Big Breakfast in Usk

Tell us about the Big Breakfast.

At a local Anglican clergy meeting in the summer of 2017, the issue of outreach came up and my husband, Bob, training for the ministry, on the spur of the moment, suggested a Big Saturday Breakfast! The idea was greeted enthusiastically with Bob given the job of organizing. He applied for a grant from the Bishop’s Mission Fund which enabled the purchase of some basic equipment and the first Big Breakfast took place at the Memorial Hall in Usk in September 2017. A full cooked breakfast is available with vegetarian options and also cereal, Bircher muesli, toast and unlimited Fair Trade tea and coffee. As much of the food as possible is sourced within the county. From the start, there has been no charge, but voluntary donations are welcome.

How can we find out more about the Big Breakfast?

We do not have a website but each breakfast is promoted on Facebook, X (Twitter) and by colourful posters. The Heart of Monmouthshire Ministry Area website has details of the breakfasts prior to each one.

How did you get into food?

My late husband was good at the ideas but also very adept at delegating! In 1986 we bought the Model Farm Folk Museum and I found myself running the café, having had no previous catering experience other than enjoying cooking for wider family occasions. Likewise, with the Big Breakfast I found myself organizing the supplies and the rota of amazing, willing helpers from around the local churches.

If you could change one thing about the food system what would it be?

Less reliance on imported food and a move back to affordable, seasonal produce.

What’s your favourite recipe?

I’m not a vegetarian, but enjoy trying vegetarian recipes. One favourite is from the Riverford website, Indian masala carrots with coconut lentils.

What favourite foods would we find in your kitchen right now?

Plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit and I still have some Christmas cake made by my daughter!

Tell us about an organization or person working in food in Monmouthshire that has
inspired you.

The Food Kitchen in Usk, run from the Catholic Hall, and supplying free hot, freshly cooked lunches twice a week to local people with differing needs. It was started during Covid and now has a client list of nearly 50 people.