The pandemic may have turned this world upside down, but it has also brought people and organisations together in a huge effort to take care of the most vulnerable in our communities.
Since the start of the pandemic, our projects, partners, and our staff have all had to change our ways of working and look at different ways of supporting our community with their well-being. Our Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Team and Neighbourhood Engagement Workers have worked closely with local support organisations across Bradford to help local families.
In the lead up to Pancake Day on 16 February, Cooking for A Better Start, our FACE Team, Neighbourhood Workers and local community food hubs worked together to provide pancake food packs to local families.
In this good news story, Lisa Bailey from our Cooking for A Better Start project explains how after ‘tossing’ around some ideas, they managed to make 45 families’ Pancake Day!
Lisa’s Pancake Story
Food poverty is increasing across the UK and it’s particularly hard in some cases around school holidays where children are no longer accessing free school meals. There’s also a general feeling that lockdown is hitting families harder this time around as winter has made it more difficult to get out of the house - especially families with young children. Therefore, isolation and mental health can be a real issue.
Parents are juggling a lot with children at home all day, and in addition it is hard to continually come up with meal ideas. We were thinking of ways to link up with the local community food hub distributors, and how we might be able to offer families basic healthy food packs with recipe cards to try out at home.We also wanted to make more families aware of our digital cooking online Cooking for A Better Start and HENRY programmes and we were looking at creative ways to engage with them.
I'd been talking to Sally Teasdale from Better Start Bradford’s FACE Team about putting together a food kit with a recipe included for local families. So, with Pancake Day around the corner, it seemed the perfect opportunity to kickstart the idea with pancakes!
Sally and I contacted some of the food hubs across the Better Start Bradford areas that we had worked with last May to distribute activity packs. We asked if they would be able to target some families that would benefit from the pancake pack.
We had a great response!
We had a great response from local community organisations including: BD4 Family, the Karmand Centre and SHINE. We made up 45 parcels consisting of a pancake recipe card and ingredients to make pancakes, tinned fruit and bananas, a cooking whisk and a Better Start Bradford face mask. We also included support leaflets and information about the Better Start Bradford projects and HENRY.
The Neighbourhood Engagement Workers based at BD4 Family and the Karmand Centre (Jenny and Fozia) helped us to distribute all of the packs after identifying families that would benefit. Sam Thirkhill from SHINE did a great job of helping us with drop offs and getting them out to families via their Friday ‘Little Dots’ group.
We also produced a recipe card for Charlie from Horton Community Farm, to be included in food bags the farm had put together based on the cooking sessions Charlie and I had done at the farm last year. We had made a chickpea stew and fruit crumble over an open fire using produce grown on the farm by volunteers. These recipe cards were distributed to 32 families in the BD5 area.
It was such a wonderful team effort
It was such a wonderful team effort and a great example of partnership working. We are so thankful to everyone who helped us to achieve such a quick turnaround. Watch this space as we have plans for more recipe and food packs and we will be working alongside the food hubs to develop and distribute these.
If you are a food bank provider in the Better Start Bradford area of Bowling and Barkerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton, or a practitioner who know of a family that would benefit from a recipe and food kit, please contact Lisa on 07305 069043 [email protected] or [email protected].
About Cooking for A Better Start
Cooking for a Better Start is delivered by HENRY and is for all parents and carers in the Better Start Bradford area who want to learn how to cook low-cost, healthy meals for their family. Delivery is currently online.
Contact Lisa Bailey on 07305 069043 or [email protected] for more information.
Find out more by downloading this leaflet.
For simple healthy recipes, please visit: https://www.henry.org.uk/homepage/resources/healthy-recipes