2 minute read
Cooking Up a Storm in Brinnington
The last record anyone wanted to break was the number of families reliant on emergency food parcels in the UK, but the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has mounted huge pressure on food banks, like The Trussell Trust, who predict a food parcel will be distributed every 9 seconds this winter.
However, one thing we can be proud of is the community spirit shown across Greater Manchester during these testing times, and Brinnginton is no different – in fact, it’s going above and beyond.
Brinnington Big Local works in partnership with local residents to create lasting, positive change in the community, and ‘Cooking Up a Storm’ is their latest success story; helping families through the pandemic, encouraging them to source local food, cook healthy meals and save money.
Around 4 million children in the UK are at risk of malnutrition (The Food Foundation), heightened by rising unemployment rates and significant cuts to income. Since July 2020, Cooking Up a Storm has been supporting 65 families every week with sustainable food parcels, as well as engaging households online through virtual cooking classes to ensure they get the best out of their produce.
For many, this service has been a lifeline through some of the most difficult times in recent memory. It gave young people the excitement of a cooking class each week, as well as an opportunity for parents and adults to connect by sharing their own experiences.
Watch: Cooking Up A Storm online cooking class
The local committee recognised the need to encourage residents to cook for themselves and their families, after seeing those with children struggling most. There has been an estimated increase of around 95 per cent in parcels given to households with kids during the pandemic.
The experience of learning how to cook from scratch proved to be a healthier, cheaper and more enjoyable option throughout lockdown. The opportunity to do so left families feeling supported and included within the community, breaking down barriers such as social isolation and lack of integration.
Cooking Up A Storm offers an innovative way to alleviate poverty and promote cooking as a way to save money and eat healthier. The long-term objective is to engage more people to grow and cook fresh produce in partnership with the award-winning Green Thumbs community garden.
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Thanks to funding from: