A church and charity recently ran a ‘cooking on a budget’ course to ease some of the financial pressures households face in the cost of living crisis.

The Salvation Army in Oldham Fitton Hill held a Meet, Cook and Eat programme over a period of four weeks which saw families come together to learn and cook recipes of well-known takeaway dishes on a budget as more households are cutting back on takeaway treats as they continue to struggle with the rise in the cost of living.

From Italian and Mexican favourites to Chinese and Indian classics, the recipes provided enough food to feed a family of four with all ingredients totalling just five pounds or less. The Salvation Army provided the ingredients for each session along with a pot of seasoning, specific to the cooking theme, to take home at the end.

The Meet, Cook and Eat programme is run in association with local community project Real Education Empowering Lives (REEL) and took place at the church and community centre located at The Brew in Fir Tree Precinct.

Stephanie Brown, community worker at The Salvation Army Oldham Fitton Hill and the course lead said: “People can often rely on takeaways if they don’t have the skills to cook, which can be convenient, but it is just not financially viable to live like that anymore, so our aim is to help people adapt.

“All the recipes on the course were easy to follow, cheap, healthy and quick – with prepping and cooking in under 20 minutes so no need to worry about energy prices. The course was also a lot more than just cooking; the Meet, Cook and Eat programme provided people with a reason to leave the house, an opportunity to develop new friendships and the skills to change their cooking and spending habits, resulting in less expenditure.”

The course has been run in the past with funding provided by Oldham Athletic and Ultimate Products and future funding is currently being looked into.


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