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VolxKuche/VolxKüche (VoKu/VoKü), peoples kitchen, free supper club or kitchen for all, are names used for a weekly or regularly occurring group cooking event, at which the meal is served free of charge or at cost. The name derives from the German expression "people's kitchen" (soup kitchen), as a secular counterpart of the Christian soup kitchen.
Volxküchen are found usually in collective and/or self-managed arrangements (pubs, information stores, youth centers or autonomous centers) with politically left self-identity. In general at least one vegetarian meal is offered, frequently also vegan food. Often soon to be expired ingredients are obtained at cost, or donated by food banks, food manufacturers or community gardens.
The Volxküche in the current sense arose in the European squatter scene of the early 1980s.
English spelling and pronunciation
The spelling of Volxküche occurred as an expression of anti-nationalism. Historically nationalism had used the term "Volk/Volks" with negative consequences. This use was a rejection of the negative connotation which had the intention of "excluding" many groups of German society. It is at the same time a funny self-willed expression of the anarchistic and/or autonomous scene.
In the US the word is spelled without an umlaut, and pronounced like "folks coo heh". The alternate German spelling Volkskueche (Volksküche) was intentionally not used.
A 'Free Supper Club" in San Francisco, held twice a month as of 2013, is calling itself Volxkuche. Besides a free dinner, performances, film and community are provided.