The Felix Project and Cookbook Kitchen provide basic supplies and simple cooking ideas

Pandemic hits poor

Almost 700,000 people in the UK, including 120,000 children, have been plunged into poverty as a result of the Covid economic crisis, according to the thinktank the Legatum Institute.

The Institute says it is only the Chancellor’s temporary £20-a-week boost to Universal Credit which is stopping a further 700,000 people being in the same position.

There are various definitions of ‘poverty’; the Institute measures povery using the methodology developed by the independent Social Metrics Commission. They reckon that overall, the pandemic has pushed the total number of people in the UK living in poverty to more than 15 million – 23% of the population.

In London poverty is higher than in any other region of the UK, where the costs of living in London are 15-58% higher than the rest of the UK. All the indicators show that the pandemic has had a huge impact on disadvantaged people. There was a 21% increase in rough sleepers in the capital in 2020. One in five people report they are feeling helpless, experiencing stress, having parenting problems and worrying about financial insecurity.

Image above: Cookbook Kitchen’s Jules Kane and Fran Warde attending the launch of the recipe card programme at The Felix Project’s Park Royal depot

Simple cooking with basic supplies

Cookbook Kitchen is working with The Felix Project to provide easy ways for people in receipt of food parcels to cook for themselves.

The Felix Project charity takes good quality, surplus items from the food industry which cannot be sold and would otherwise go to waste and delivers it to those most in need. Working with contacts in schools, they get food parcels to children who teachers know come to school hungry.

The food they collect is sorted and delivered to over 400 front-line charities, primary schools and holiday programmes in London. Food that would have gone to waste is reaching vulnerable people, homeless people, those with poor mental health or those who simply can’t afford to buy regular, healthy food.

Cookbook Kitchen are a non-profit group of ‘food aficionados, restaurateurs, chefs, cooks and cookbook authors’ in Chiswick. They organised the Cookbook Festival in 2018 and 2019 and are currently planning a monthly Cheese Market to open in May.

They have developed a set of recipe cards for The Felix Project to include in their food parcels, with meal suggestons tailored to the food available.

The recipes accompany the food distributed to 170 primary schools across London who are taking part in The Felix Project’s Schools Programme. The organisers hope to inspire parents and children to make nutritious meals.

The Felix Project guarantee the food they supply is high quality and nutritious. A high proportion of their stock is fresh fruit and vegetables, baked goods, salads, meat and fish. The charity receives and food from over 450 suppliers, including supermarkets, wholesalers, farms, restaurants and delis.

See some of the recipes below.

Images above: Apple and cinnamon compote, pumpkin fritters

Apple and cinnamon compote

‘Lovely warm with ice-cream or cream for a quick pudding, or spoon on top of yoghurt or porridge for a fantastic breakfast. Also works brilliantly as the classic sauce with sausages, roast pork and pork chops. Use a dairy-free substitute instead of the butter for a lactose-free, vegan-friendly version.’

See recipe here: Apple and cinnamon compote

Pumpkin savoury fritters

‘Make a BIG batch – these lovely pancakes can be cooked ahead of time and will store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in a hot oven for 5 minutes or until heated through and crispy. They can also be popped in the freezer: freeze layered with baking parchment so that they don’t stick together.’

See recipe here: Pumpkin savoury fritters

Images above: Sprout and carrot slaw, spiced pumpkin soup

Sprout and carrot slaw

‘So quick and easy to make. Great as a salad or add to sandwiches with grated hard, or spreadable soft, cheese.’

See recipe here: Sprout and carrot slaw

Spiced pumpkin soup

‘Simple nourishing and warming: the addition of lentils adds protein. If possible, don’t peel vegetables, just give them a good wash. There are a lot of vitamins and minerals just below the skin.’

See recipe here: Spiced pumpkin soup

Mixed Mash

‘Mash doesn’t need to be JUST potato. There are lots of starchy root veg that work just as well. Although beetroot can make everything look a bit odd!

‘Serve as a side dish or top with nuts, seeds or cheese for a more substantial meal.’

See recipe here: Mixed mash

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar website

See also: Lockdown leftovers fishcakes

See also: A year of pandemic – How has Chiswick fared

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