Hospitality & Hope, a charity which supports vulnerable individuals and families across South Tyneside, has received funding worth £3,000 from Newcastle Building Society, which it has used to set up the initiative to make it more affordable for families to cook healthier meals.
A recipe book packed with healthy meal ideas and a slow cooker is included as part of the project – and the charity is already seeing people who have never cooked before in their lives getting excited about the food they are now able to prepare.
The project is hoping to see at least two dozen local families take part in its healthy eating initiative this year. It has also just opened its first community food shop, which allows users to select up to £15 of food for a fee of just £4.
Brian Thomas, chief executive officer at Hospitality & Hope, said: “While we all like a takeaway meal sometimes, cooking using healthy ingredients isn’t just better for you, but also tends to be much less expensive, which is an especially important consideration for everyone at the moment.
“It’s been fantastic to get so much enthusiasm from the people that have taken part in the course so far, especially from those who hadn’t cooked like this before who now can’t wait to tell us what they’ve made and even send us photos of what’s on the family menu today.
“This project simply wouldn’t exist without the funding that Newcastle Building Society has provided, and we hope that it will have a positive lifelong impact on dozens of local families’ approach to planning, cooking and eating their meals.”
David Pearson, manager at Newcastle Building Society’s Denmark Centre branch in South Shields, added: “Hospitality & Hope is a real beacon in our community and makes a tangible impact on the lives of so many local families.
“This is a simple idea that will have both short and long-term positive impacts on our community and we’re very pleased to be able to help make it happen.”