Cooking on a budget
The project first came into fruition after discussions on how the Life Community Church in Ashingdon could best use their facilities to meet the needs of the community around them. A food education programme felt like a good way of connecting with the parents of Ashingdon Primary Academy, which is the school across the road.
The six-week course involved watching a professionally trained chef prepare and cook a range of meals from scratch, with the opportunity to ask questions and taste the dish at the end of the session. Those that attend are then given all the ingredients used in the demonstration to take home and make the meals themselves.
Each household that signed up to the course was given a multi-cooker on week one, and a Facebook page was also created where parents could post the meals they’d made online and talk with each other about them.
Primarily this project is a cooking course, but it is also addressed issues around food poverty, budgeting, social isolation and people’s health and wellbeing. Supporting households by offering a warm and welcoming space, education and some much-needed relief, this was vital as many parents attended have children with a range of SEN issues.
As well as a programme for adults, Life Church have provided sessions for pre-school aged children, providing the opportunity to take part in exercise, read books on healthy eating and use games and playdough to learn about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. They also provided the chance for the children to feel, smell and taste a variety of different fruits and vegetables during their snack time, to increase the awareness of food education.