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Community Food Grant serves up cash to promote healthy food to Tynesiders

Byker-based Food Nation has split a £10k grant between eight cooking and growing projects across the city, which promote healthy eating

Jamie Sadler of Food Nation
Jamie Sadler of Food Nation

Community groups, schools, businesses and churches across Newcastle are set to cook up a storm after securing funding to launch a spread of food activities.

The Community Food Grant 2014 Fund, which is managed by Byker-based social enterprise Food Nation, has awarded £10,000 to eight cooking and growing projects in the city, in a bid to inspire residents to cook affordable, healthy meals from scratch.

Each project will be receiving ongoing support from the Food Nation team over the course of the next year.

The winning bids are the West End-based Search Project which plans to develop a Mediterranean cooking club for the over-50s to highlight the benefits of the diet.

St Margaret’s Toddlers on Scotswood Road was another winner and aims to use the cash to bring about a change of diet for parents and children under five by showing them how to pull together a healthy meal.

Atkinson Road Nursery School in Benwell has also benefitted and is creating a Veg Box Challenge as well as a cookbook with food costs and images.

Emily Barber Food Nation cooking competition for Primary School children
Food Nation cooking competition for Primary School children

The Community Catering Initiative Ltd at the Pottery Bank Community Centre, Walker, is to launch a family cooking and growing programme through which adults will nurture and prepare fresh ingredients and learn to cook a balanced meal on a budget.

The Byker Centre and Groundwork will be working together to improve families culinary skills on nearby estates. They will also be encouraged to take part in practical gardening sessions.

West End Youth Enquiry Service (WEYES) will show young people aged 11-25 how to feed themselves healthily for under £15 a week by teaching them budgeting and cooking skills.

Welbeck Primary School will develop its Family Cooking and Growing Group.  

Families will attend growing and cooking skills training; become ambassadors by sharing their learning with other parents and children, and set up a school garden so that food can be grown in the grounds.

Lastly, Newcastle-based charity JET will deliver a Cook and Shop to Eat Well project at Palatine Beds in Westerhope, where 74pc of the staff have a disability.

A café and cooking skills workshops will be developed to enhance the culinary talents of the workforce and improve their health and wellbeing.

Nicola Cowell, community food initiative coordinator at Food Nation, says: “A really diverse spread of projects will be brought to life through this year’s round of funding, helping toddlers, young children, teenagers, families and elderly residents, so we can’t wait to see everyone get started.”


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