By Piriyanga Thirunimalan
Four foodbanks are collaborating with a college to create nutritious recipes to be sent inside food parcels for disadvantaged families this Christmas.
Lambeth-based foodbanks are working with students at Westminster Kingsway College (WestKing) to distribute food parcels containing ingredients and cards with nutritional recipes to those in need.
The four foodbanks supported by The Trussell Trust at Norwood and Brixton, Clapham Park, Vauxhall and Waterloo came together during the pandemic as they adopted a delivery-only service.
WestKing Chef Lecturer Vince Kelly decided to take action following the sharp rise in the use of foodbanks after the pandemic hit.
Vince said: “It’s a sad reality that there are many starving families living in the UK who are struggling to put food on the table.
“The pandemic has exacerbated this further and led to me thinking that there must be a better way we can reduce food deprivation.”
Vince said he experienced having to support a family whilst on a low income when his catering business in Ireland collapsed in 2011.
He said: “I have only just recovered over the past couple of years thanks to the support of family, friends and work colleagues.
“Not everyone is that lucky. That is why I cannot sit back and watch this happen.”
St Margaret the Queen Anglican Church, Streatham Hill, is now used by the foodbanks as a base to carry out delivery services from.
BSc (Hons) Culinary Health and Nutrition students at the college will devise the recipes and it will be distributed by volunteers at the Lambeth foodbanks.
The recipes are to be printed on festive cards and will feature a QR code linking to videos on how to make the dishes.
The Trussell Trust has estimated that nearly two in five households are using foodbanks and forecasts a 61% rise in the number of food parcels being handed out in winter months.
Waterloo Foodbank Manager Rebekah Gibson said: “The need for our foodbanks is higher than ever.
“We’re really pleased that the students at WestKing will be providing us with recipe cards to help those in need this Christmas cook healthy, delicious meals.”
Provided the project is successful, WestKing hopes to run similar projects with students from other courses at more foodbanks and plans to launch free nutritional cooking courses.
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