Kitchen project focuses on waste
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.