Gloucester City Homes (GCH) are pleased to have launched a new initiative in the Westgate area which provides pre-packaged ‘recipe bags’ to support residents with accessing nutritious and healthy food.
During the first lockdown from March 2020 GCH were pleased to support Gloucester City Council in developing a network of emergency food distribution to help ensure that no one went hungry. Organisations across the City helped to start food distribution schemes to meet the needs of areas across Gloucester.
Anita Pope, Director of Housing and Communities at GCH commented “We quickly identified that there was limited community support and resources for residents of Westgate so alongside Treasureseekers and local Councillor, Dawn Melvin we helped to set up a local foodbank in one of our local offices. This foodbank scheme was a lifeline for over 80 residents for 9 months and over time the partnership worked to set residents up with support networks.
Working alongside the many other local organisations, residents were signposted to relevant agencies and organisations for longer term support but at GCH we wanted to stay connected with the community to offer a small helping hand. This is where we developed the idea of ‘recipe bags’ to support local residents to stretch their weekly budgets. The bags are similar to the popular “Hello Fresh” recipe packs and use items that are available from the remaining foodbank supplies. Each recipe aims to be cheap, easy to replicate and use minimal equipment.”
Within the bags, a few extra food items are included and GCH are doing their best to tailor these items to residents, for example providing suitable items for those who only have microwave facilities.
The scheme runs on Fridays between 12pm – 2pm (or until bags are gone) following strict COVID guidelines from outside the Fountain Square Hub on Archdeacon Street.
GCH Community Investment Team Leader, Mandi Holt added “Getting to know people in Westgate, at a safe distance, has been great and the scheme has already become very popular via word of mouth. We are aiming to provide residents with some healthy meal ideas that can be easily replicated and increase cooking skills to produce interesting, healthy food on a budget. So far, our recipes have included a tuna pasta bake, easy mushroom rice and mushy pea curry. Perhaps we should produce a GCH recipe book!”
Help and support is available throughout the City and further details can be found at https://www.gch.co.uk/communitycontacts or tenants can contact our Community Investment Team on 01452 424344 (selecting option number 5 for housing related enquiries).