Community cooks get to work in the kitchen
PUBLISHED: 20:07 20 June 2019 | UPDATED: 20:07 20 June 2019
Two community cooks from Sudbury have been learning how to make the most of their ingredients.
Sophie Thompson and Lisa Townrow volunteer at the Sudbury Befriending Scheme, which helps vulnerable people.
The scheme is one of 7,000 across the UK that receives free surplus food from Tesco under the store's Community Food Connection scheme.
Sophie and Lisa took part in the Tesco Community Cookery School, which is backed by Jamie Oliver and provides the cooks with the food knowledge to make use of whatever is in the donations that arrive at their kitchen door.
Cooks learn everything from knife skills and nutrition to recipes for versatile base sauces, which can be adapted to compliment a wide variety of donated food. Training is free and attendees receive cooking equipment, plus a folder of Jamie Oliver recipes.
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Sophie said: "The cookery school taught us the skills we needed to be able to teach our members how to make healthy meals using donated food.
"It is now so much easier to make use of our surplus food donations, knowing that we have the correct tools to create healthy and delicious meals.
"We're hugely grateful to Tesco for inviting us on the course. It has already benefited dozens of our members, who now have the skills to create similar dishes at home. We will also share our learnings with members of our community farm."
Tesco Development Chef Martyn Lee said: "Tesco has donated more than 60 million meals' worth of surplus food to date, but it wouldn't have reached those in need of a good meal were it not for local community cooks like Sophie and Lisa. "I hope they took away a lot from the course and will put their new-found cooking knowledge to good use, while continuing their great work at The Befriending Scheme."
The Befriending Scheme is a local charity which provides friendship and learning opportunities for isolated groups, such as those with learning disabilities and vulnerable families.
The group also provides volunteering opportunities, a community farm and regular drop-in centres, with a view to building meaningful friendships between vulnerable people and volunteer befrienders.