Foodbanks across the West of England have teamed up with their local councils to offer anti-poverty charity The Trussell Trust’s Eat Well, Spend Less cookery and budgeting courses to local people.
This is part of a campaign to promote the national Love Food Hate Waste message across the area to tackle the amount of food waste and help householders save money by making their food go further. As a nation we throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink from our homes each year and the average family could save up to £700 a year, simply by throwing away less food.
The cookery classes are being funded by a grant from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and are part of a campaign run by Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire councils (the West of England) in partnership with The Trussell Trust. The trust runs a national network of foodbanks, to tackle food waste, by reducing the amount of food we waste and recycle what is left.
The free classes each run for 2 ½ hours a week for six weeks. The classes will teach simple recipes and cookery skills to help give people more confidence and ideas when they are cooking at home. At the end of the course, participants should be better equipped to plan and prepare meals so they only buy and cook what they need, know how best to store food so that it lasts longer and gain ideas on how to use leftovers to make another meal. They will also learn about food hygiene and managing budgets.
Cllr Martin Veal (Conservative, Bathavon North), Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services, said “This project is the next stage of the Feed Me and Win campaign that has been funded by the DCLG. Last year we focused on the importance of recycling our food waste, which is used to make electricity, biofuel and compost. This year we’re looking at how we can throw away less food to start with. According to the national Love Food Hate Waste campaign, the main reasons we throw away food are because we cook or prepare too much and we don’t use it in time. This project will help people to tackle this and save money too.”
Cllr Peter Bryant, North Somerset Council’s executive member with responsibility for recycling, said: “Research shows that here in the UK we throw away more food from our homes every year than we do packaging – costing the environment and our pockets. Eat Well Spend Less is a great opportunity for people to learn more about preparing their own meals, portion planning, budgeting, using up leftovers and storing food so that it stays fresh. By taking simple steps to reduce food waste the average household could save around £60 a week, and save taxpayers’ money by not sending it to landfill.”
South Gloucestershire Council’s Communities Committee Chair, Cllr Heather Goddard, said: “With 35 years’ experience working as a home economist I can really see the benefit of these courses. Our residents have made a fantastic effort to reduce amounts of food waste but there is still room for further improvement. These free Eat Well, Spend Less cookery and budgeting courses are great as they help people manage their shopping and food preparation more efficiently so that they throw away less food, which also leads to savings at the checkout. If you or someone you know is interested in taking part, simply contact your local foodbank for more information on courses near you.”
Everyone who takes part in the course will receive a free recipe book and apron. If you or someone you know is interested in taking part you should contact your local foodbank. Community groups who wish to refer people to the course can do the same.
To find out more about the national Love Food Hate Waste campaign, please go to www.lovefoodhatewaste.com
To find out more about the Eat Well Spend Less cookery classes, contact your local foodbank.
To find out more about food waste and to order a recycling container, please contact the Waste Department of your local West of England Council.