In a bid to promote healthy eating habits, alleviate holiday hunger and help out parents to feed their families during the school holidays, South Leeds not-for-profit organisation Holbeck Together has run a bi-weekly initiative providing food packs and recipe ideas for families.
Funded by Leeds Community Foundation’s Healthy Holidays Fund, parents have been able to collect a box of food accompanied by an easy-to-follow recipe card from St Matthew Community Centre in Holbeck on a Tuesday or Thursday throughout the summer holidays. The initiative follows the closure of schools and the major issues surrounding food poverty in young children in the most deprived areas of the region, Holbeck being one of them.
To date, over 250 boxes have been prepared and handed out to over 20 families and the initiative shows no signs of slowing down. Boxes have been created for breakfast, lunch and dinner with a variety of different ingredients and recipes to encourage the whole family to cook together to make wholesome and nutritious meals, such as cottage pie and cauliflower, potato and pea curry.
All participants receive a folder to collect their favourite recipes into a tailor-made recipe book full of the meals they most enjoyed, which includes nutritional information and tips on how to eat healthily and happily. The project focuses on making meal-times a little easier for families and taking some of the pressure off parents by reduce the financial risk around trying out a new dish that you’re not sure will work!
Rachel Bulloch, a parent living in Holbeck said:
“The food activity packs not only help me to plan healthy and nutritious meals, but the kids all get involved and we have such a fun time together preparing and eating the meals. It’s kept the girls occupied throughout lockdown and we have enjoyed eating together as a family. I’m really grateful to Holbeck Together for the scheme and we’ve learnt so much about cooking healthy food that feeds the whole family.”
Speaking on behalf of the Holbeck Together, Elissa Newman, Chief Officer said:
“We see first hand the challenges families face when it comes to preparing meals and feeding their children healthy and wholesome meals. The closure of schools has put food poverty, particularly in children in the spotlight and as an organisation committed to helping the community in Holbeck we needed to do something to address it.
“Working closely with Leeds Community Foundation, we are able to provide not only vital food supplies, but cooking packs with nutritional information to support parents and children to cook together, to celebrate healthy eating habits and reduce holiday hunger. We’ve heard back from participants who’ve said how much they’ve enjoyed spending time in the kitchen with their families, passing on skills to their children. The scheme has worked incredibly well to date and it is something we hope to continue in the future, to support families in Holbeck.”
The project has been such a success that Holbeck Together are planning to run it in future school holidays.
This post is based on a press release issued on behalf of Holbeck Together