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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Tesco Community Cookery School inspires families across County Antrim

Over the last few months, community cooks across Antrim have been teaching people to cook healthy, balanced, and affordable meals as part of Tesco’s Community Cookery School, in partnership with Jamie Oliver and food redistribution charity FareShare.

The second phase of the Community Cookery School was launched earlier this year to help train community cooks in delivering helpful and practical cooking skills to families in their communities. Easy recipes like veggie chilli, tinned salmon fishcakes with veggie slaw, and veggie soup with eggy muffins encouraged the addition of more vegetables into everyday scratch meals.

Some of the organisations in Antrim that availed of the cookery school include the B.E.D.A. (Ballycraigy Environmental Development Association), Family Caring Centre (Belfast), and the Muckamore Pre-School.

Because of pandemic restrictions, the virtual lessons were streamed online from February to May, with the lessons developed and delivered by Jamie Oliver-trained community cooks and nutritionists.

The courses covered knife skills and basic nutrition, as well as offering recipes that can be adapted to complement a wide variety of foods typically donated to food banks.

Oonagh Turnbull, Tesco Head of Health Campaigns, said:

“We're so proud to have provided food education, inspiration, and support to vulnerable families across the UK over the last few months. The past year has highlighted the need to focus on nutrition and it’s great to have played a part in supporting healthier communities.”

The cookery school initiative launched in 2019 with the aim of training 1,000 community cooks how to make meals with food typically donated by Tesco, while avoiding food waste – a target which was achieved by January 2020.

Katherine Hale, Food Education Manager at Jamie Oliver Group, said:

“This year’s programme is focused on the importance of cooking balanced meals from scratch by offering ideas and recipes to increase the use of fruit and veg in everyday meals. We’re thrilled to have been able to reach so many community cooks digitally this year, despite the challenges we’ve all faced this year.”

Lindsay Boswell, Chief Executive at FareShare, said:

“The Tesco Community Cookery School has offered cooks an excellent opportunity to further their knowledge and provided inspiration for new meals they can make using food they receive through FareShare. This fantastic partnership between Tesco, Jamie Oliver and FareShare has resulted in thousands of families across the UK learning about the importance of nutrition.”

Tesco’s Community Cookery School is part of the retailer’s ongoing commitment to health. To find out more:


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