A BRADFORD restaurant said it is slowly seeing some positive change as it continues to support people amid the cost of living crisis.

Yam Spice, on Bowland Street in Manningham, has been providing a free meal and hot drink to people in need every Monday since April.

Kofi Amoateng – who founded the restaurant with his wife, Rhoda, in February 2020 – said the effects of the crisis are being felt particularly hard in Bradford.

He added that the African restaurant is serving around 70 people every week – and that he would not be surprised to see this number rise to over 100.

Despite the hardships, Kofi has seen “slight improvements” in people’s lives over the last nine months.

“Yam Spice has been a place of hope and, gradually, we’re seeing change,” the 40-year-old said.

“In the midst of this crisis, we’re seeing a revival in the hearts of many.

“It’s not just the food and drink, Yam Spice is also a warm space, and has become a community.”

The initiative takes place between 10am and 12 noon and is in partnership with Newjoy Church.

“Church volunteers give counselling and coaching at the restaurant. Some people who come to us just need encouragement,” said Kofi.

“Giving back to the community like that – for free and with no strings attached – is commendable.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Yam Spice has been supporting people since AprilYam Spice has been supporting people since April (Image: Kofi Amoateng)

Although positive steps are being taken, Kofi did not sugar-coat what remains a pressing issue.

“You can really see the struggle in Bradford,” he said.

“We’ve served over 1,600 meals as part of this. At the start you’d get 30 or 40 people coming, but that keeps growing.”

Kofi is from Ghana and moved to Bradford to study psychology over a decade ago.

He described Yam Spice’s story as special.

“It’s all about my wife, Rhoda, she’s passionate about food, and saw a gap in the market,” he said.

“We started just before Covid. Lockdown hit so nothing happened for months, and we wanted to close.

“But we were able to build a strong connection with Bradford after that.

“We serve jollof rice, fufu, goat curry and more – these are things people may have seen online or on TikTok, but haven’t tried before.”

Kofi is now calling for more sponsors and volunteers.

“Yam Spice is a small restaurant, people have been asking us how we do it. We need more support,” he said.

“I encourage other restaurants and faith organisations in Bradford to help. We must all be our brother’s keeper.”

To get in touch, visit https://yamspicefoods.co.uk/contact-us.