Tackling food poverty with cookery lessons

Tackling food poverty with cookery lessons

SpaghettiFamilies in Allenton are continuing to benefit from cookery courses aimed at providing practical advice on healthy eating, basic cooking skills and budgeting information.

The courses are funded by Allenton Big Local and delivered by Nacro Osmaston, working in partnership with the local children’s centre. The 8-week course includes both theoretical lessons and practical hands-on sessions where participants make dishes to take home to their family, using ingredients provided as part of the course.

“There are many families living in the Allenton area who are facing food poverty,” said Margaret Woodbridge from Nacro. “This means they are struggling to get enough to eat because of lack of money. This trend is reflected in the fact that there has been a significant increase in the number of families using the food bank at Osmaston/Allenton Children’s Centre.”

The course on offer helps to tackle some of these issues by teaching participants how to cook, and providing tips and budget saving ideas for families such as:

  • How to shop for bargains: the best tactics for getting what you need at reduced or offer prices.
  • Cooking in bulk: how batch cooking can save both money and time.
  • Using leftovers:  creative ways for using up leftover food.

The course also considers the different food types and how much of each should be eaten for a healthy, balanced diet.

The latest course participants included two young men aged 17 and 18 who both wanted to learn to cook, with one having ambitions to become a chef.

Comments from course participants:

“Learning how to cook in bulk was great. I realise now how much I can save.”

“I found new ways to hide the vegetables to encourage my children to eat a more healthy diet.”

“The curry was great. I haven’t cooked one before – we usually have a takeaway.”

“The course has helped to build my confidence and the staff are great. Very supportive.”

“I never knew how to cook before this course.”

“Having to prepare meals from scratch and having the confidence to do it was great. Thank you.”