FOOD & AMP; TO DRINK
5 August, 2022 | by Angela Beevers
Recipe box company Gousto is working with one of the UK’s busiest food banks on a new pilot scheme that aims to make food packs healthier.
Since current food packages are designed for people in occasional crises, they generally consist of NHS-approved foods, such as long-lasting essentials like tinned beans, tinned spaghetti, soups and cereals.
However, Hammersmith and Fulham Foodbank found that up to a third of its food goes to people who return at least once a month, as inflation reaches its highest level in 40 years.
Gousto is now working with the organisation, which is part of the Trussell Trust network, to test the mental, physical and social benefits of delivering fresh, healthy food parcels in the form of meal kits.
Funded by the local council and Gousto, the pilot program will run for 12 weeks in Hammersmith and Fulham, starting in the summer holidays when families face the added pressure of feeding their children.
Research conducted by the council and supported by Imperial College London’s Self-Care Research Unit will assess the mental health and well-being benefits of improved food packages and accessible home cooking, alongside the physical and social impacts. The learnings are expected to help inform the approach of emergency food providers across the country.
The vegetarian meal kits have been designed by Gousto’s nutritionist and registered dietitian, Ellie Bain. Each recipe includes at least two servings of fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains and healthy fats like nuts, seeds, eggs, and avocados. Each meal requires less than 30 minutes to cook and can be prepared without an oven to save energy.
Gousto CEO and Founder Timo Boldt said: “Everything we do at Gousto is driven by our purpose to make a positive impact on people and the planet. Using our expertise in creating healthy, balanced meals, we hope to make a real impact on the nation’s health from this innovative pilot.
“We are proud to work with Hammersmith and Fulham Foodbank, part of the Trussell Trust network, and help provide immediate support to the community in and around our London headquarters. We believe in the power of nutritious home cooking to drive health and wellness, and we can’t wait to see how this pilot informs future strategies for food banks.”
Recipes for the pilot cover breakfast, lunch and dinner for one week and will be delivered weekly by volunteers from Hammersmith and Fulham Foodbank for 12 weeks. Recipes include Cheesy Black Bean Chilli, Three-Veg Miso & Sesame Ramen with Egg, and Simple One-Pot Puttanesca.
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