Each week in Brighton & Hove more than 1,300 children rely on support from a food bank or community meal project. Our research earlier this year found that the biggest increase in recipients at local food banks was from families (69%), and that households with children had an average weekly food budget of just £8.53 per person.
Food poverty is a very concerning ongoing issue but thanks to funding from the Sussex Cricket Foundation and a crowdfund organised by Guerrilla Cricket over this summer holidays, 750 healthy ‘In The Bag’ recipe kits will be distributed to families in poverty.
In The Bag started last summer when Sussex Cricket approached us about helping families entitled to free school meals feed their children over the summer break. As we missed hosting families at our Community Kitchen, we created In The Bag as a way of taking a little bit of the Community Kitchen to people’s homes.
Each bag contains all the ingredients and a recipe to make a healthy family meal. The recipes are simple, no need for lots of equipment or complicated cooking techniques and all the recipes include fresh veg or fruit. The ingredients are weighed out and bags made up by a team of volunteers. As well as providing much needed food, each week the bags included a fun activity to enjoy together.
It is important to us that as well as providing food, we can do something that offers some enjoyment around food at a difficult time.
Recipes involved either creative ways to use typical food bank ingredients or ingredients not usually received in parcels to give families greater variety. Feedback from families was that they enjoyed trying new recipes and we look forward to hearing how they get on with this summer’s kits which will include a cous cous salad and veg pasta.
Enjoyed getting recipes that we hadn’t had before – love the lentil dhal would never have thought to make or eat that before
We know from the Food Foundation’s recently published Broken Plate report that healthier foods are three times as expensive as less healthy foods per calorie, and this gap has widened over the last 4 years. The poorest 20% of UK households would need to spend 39% of their disposable income on food to meet the Government’s Eatwell Guide costs. This compares to just 8% for the richest 20%.
The bags will be distributed by the volunteers at neighbourhood-based food projects that are working year-round to increase access to affordable fresh food across the city including Phoenix Food Project, Moulsecoomb Community Market and Brightstore (Hove, Hollingdean and Mile Oak).
A big thank you to all at Sussex Cricket and Guerrilla Cricket for supporting this work.