Together Lancashire has been spearheading a unique project called Feeding Lancashire Together. Their idea is that food banks should be more than just an opportunity for people to collect vital groceries; they can be a place for people to gain the skills and knowledge that will enable them to create healthy and cost-effective meals. 

One of the main strands of this work has been to encourage cooking with slow cookers. These slow cookers are an excellent way of encouraging good habits and effective use of resources. 

The advantage of slow cooker meals is that they require very little preparation time, they are a very cost effective way of cooking (slow cookers use roughly the same amount of electrcity as a light bulb), and the food that's produced is healthier because there is no need to fry the food. It hasn't been about simply offering food, it's been investing in people

However, Together Lanashire realised it is not uncommon that individuals who receive help from a food bank will receive food but not have a clear idea of how to cook it. Working with other organisations, they arranged cooking classes that focused on making effective use of slow cookers. 

So far, our Development Workers in Together Lancashire have arranged for 25 organisations to take part. This has meant that an estimated 250 people have been able to take part in cooking classes. The project has been open to everyone and has welcomed in anyone from church groups to ex-offenders to those living in hostels, and those who work at the food banks themselves. 

Through this excellent and innovative work, Together Lancashire have been able to feed an incredible number of families whilst enabling them to take control of their food, their diets, and their time. It hasn't been about simply offering food, it's been investing in people and offering them the opportunity to grow.

Like so often with projects organised by CUF's Together Network, the genius of this project has been that the Development Workers have been able to look at what resources are already available in their community and have simply organised them so that every resource is pointed towards making the community stronger. 

Projects like this are taking place throughout the Together Network. If you want to contribute to this work so that it grow into more communities across the country, then donate today.