Kitchen project fo­cuses on waste

Hinckley Times - - TRAVEL TIMES -

A group of Le­ices­ter­shire res­i­dents have been given the con­fi­dence to cook a Christ­mas din­ner for the first time, thanks to a local food waste preven­tion scheme.

Funded by the county coun­cil, in part­ner­ship with Hinck­ley and Bosworth Bor­ough Coun­cil, the com­mu­nity kitchen project at Earl Shilton was de­signed to get peo­ple think­ing about the food they throw away at home.

Led by local vol­un­teers, the ses­sions taught res­i­dents - many of whom are on low in­comes - new cook­ery skills as well as prac­ti­cal help in cut­ting food waste.

In ad­di­tion to cut­ting waste and sav­ing money, the project aimed to im­prove un­der­stand­ing of nu­tri­tional aware­ness, healthy eat­ing and the con­fi­dence to cook from scratch.

Over a pe­riod of 10 weeks, par­tici- pants have learnt how to cook a fes­tive meal from scratch, fo­cus­ing on a dif­fer­ent el­e­ment each week, from fluffy roast pota­toes to mor­eish mince pies, as well as ideas to use up any left­overs.

The classes also pro­vided a safe place for peo­ple to so­cialise with oth­ers, by re­duc­ing lone­li­ness and iso­la­tion and of­fer­ing an ex­pe­ri­ence that im­proves lives in dif­fer­ent ways.

Res­i­dent, Kevin Turner, who took part in the course, said: “You start look­ing at things sea­son­ally, you start look­ing at food miles and you be­come more rounded in how you use food and how you think about food.

“My top tip would be to think of the re­sources left over from your Christ­mas meal as a treat, rather than a prob­lem. This is won­der­ful food that you’ve paid a lot of money for - don’t throw it away.”

Coun­cil­lor Blake Pain, county coun­cil cab­i­net mem­ber for en­vi­ron­ment and trans­port, said: “Food plays a huge part in mak­ing the per­fect Christ­mas, but for many of us, due to a lack of kitchen con­fi­dence, the left­overs can go to waste.

“The com­mu­nity kitchen is a great way to bring local com­mu­ni­ties to­gether while help­ing peo­ple save money.”

The 10-week course helped res­i­dents to learn about re­duc­ing food waste as well as nu­tri­tional aware­ness and healthy eat­ing.

Vol­un­teers got stuck in dur­ing a 10-week course which was funded by the county coun­cil in part­ner­ship with Hinck­ley and Bosworth Bor­ough Coun­cil, help­ing res­i­dents to learn how to make their first Christ­mas din­ner.

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