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Healthy eating: could churches lend a hand?

07 February 2014


From Elly Sheard

Sir, - Thank you to Canon Angela Tilby (Comment, 31 January) for drawing attention to the difficulties faced by the poor when it comes to healthy eating.

At Truro Foodbank, we have run a number of "Eat Well Spend Less" courses aimed at teaching basic cooking and healthy eating skills, and emphasising ways to reduce costs. We have made a conscious effort to reach out to those most in need of this help, and more recently we have teamed up with other Cornish foodbanks, Cornwall Council, and other concerned bodies to produce a booklet (free in Cornwall) to help people to eat healthily on a tight budget. It is available electronically at www.cornwallhealthyweight.org.uk.

The course booklets for the Truro Foodbank courses can be downloaded from: http://truro.foodbank.org.uk/get-involved.

It seems to me that churches are in a good position to engage with the many (especially young) people around us who have limited cooking skills and have to manage on a tight budget. Many church premises have a kitchen that may (with a bit of adaptation) be usable for teaching people to cook. And many churches also have multiple contacts in the local community, and are aware of the needs of the poorest. They may also be in contact with people who have skills that they could pass on.

Church-supported foodbanks are indeed filling gaps in provision all over the country, but perhaps we could also teach economical and healthy cooking skills as a way of helping to stop the gaps before they become gaping.

Lanner Mill, Trispen
Truro TR4 9AX

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