ABOUT SAFEFOOD PROGRAMMES
Carlow County Development Partnership was successful in leveraging funds through the Safefood Programme – an All-Ireland initiative set up under the British-Irish Agreement with a general remit to promote awareness and knowledge of food safety and nutrition issues on the island of Ireland. Among its aims is the communication of nutritional advice and CCDP sought funding to provide this advice and information to families on low budgets.
In 2016, 3 projects were delivered over the course of 14 sessions held once a week from 10am until 12pm every Thursday using the facilities at the Bagenalstown Family Resource Centre. There were three small projects designed, “Cooking on a Budget”, “Learning from the Experts” and “Fakeaways”
These focused on healthy eating and increasing the knowledge of individuals about healthy eating, looking at healthier ways to prepare foods and introducing vegetables into foods for young children.
The recipes provided to the participants showed the participants what the ingredients and quantity of food was needed for each meal which in turn reflected what they were buying on a weekly basis. There was also a focus on budgeting and food/meal planning skills with the recipes referring to other meals that the participants were able to make with the leftover food or creating a new meal using leftover food from the day before.
Cooking classes were delivered to the target group. The aim of the classes was to introduce the individuals to home cooking. During the five week programme the group worked with a tutor in preparing and cooking a healthy and nutritious meal each week that they would be able to replicate at home. By the end of the five week programme the participants had 5 recipes that they have prepared that would be cheap and nutritious for their young children. There was also be a focus in the classes on how to make meals go further and cooking on a budget regarding how left overs can be used for the next day.
Participants were all shown how to read labels and learnt what the body requires for good nutrition. Similarly, they looked at various foods that would be typical on their weekly shop and it was highlighted to them what the contents of the food was and how they could substitute what they were buying for something healthier.