We believe everyone should be able to afford good food, that doesn’t make them sick.

People in poverty have the poorest diets, often characterised by high consumption of highly processed, “fast” and fatty foods, low in vegetables and nutrients.  This leads them to get sicker and die younger than the rest of the population.  This is food poverty, and its effects on health, mental health and finances can keep people trapped in poverty.

The reasons for this poor diet are not as simple as people generally believe.  People often believe that either people in poverty either need to learn to cook, or are “too lazy to cook”. In reality, research shows that people in poverty are no worse, or better, than the rest of the population at cooking.  So this does not explain their significantly worse diet.  The explanation lies elsewhere.

Bags of Taste works with highly vulnerable people in food poverty to address the economic, structural and practical barriers that prevent them from improving their diets.  Outcomes include an 85% drop in takeaway consumption; £1,300 per annum savings on food bills and takeaways, and 54% of participants report improved health.

Barrier: Tasty and cheap alternatives there is a higher concentration of takeaways in poor areas

  • I’ve never cooked for myself and have always relied on takeaways and ready meals, my doctor told me I had to change. After coming to Bags of Taste, I have cooked everyday for myself and realised its not so hard. I feel better, have more energy and trying things I never thought I would!  I really enjoyed the classes.

Barrier: Skills deficit  for some, a lack of cooking skills is part of the problem

  • I’ve been bringing Paul who I care for and he’s really got some basic skills in cooking. He looks forward to coming each week.
  • Learning to cook new dishes with confidence and showing off my skills with friends and family. I feel this will definitely help with minimising the risk of me getting Type 2 diabetes. I personally feel that there should be more courses like this and 4 weeks is not enough, although I have learned so much in that short time.

Barrier: Food preferences  children in poverty often have even more restrictive food preferences than others

  • My children enjoyed a few of the meals we have done at the classes and now buy more veg and have showed my partner some of recipes and she now trys them.