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: Information deficit  hard to know where to buy cheapest products & what recipes to try

  • I now enjoy cooking much more than before. I know more products and have discovered some recipes that I know I will cook often and recommend.  This course is such a great project…
  • This has really been an eye opening course. I never thought I would be able to cook such interesting meals so easily.  The recipes are really great and I feel so much better and more confident cooking. It’s helped me experiment without spending too much money.
  • Bags of Taste was such a fantastic course. I learnt so much about where to budget shop locally and got some absolutely great tips, especially how to properly chop an onion and the super saving ginger peeling tip!  I had so much fun replicating the dishes we learnt at home and was so proud of my certificate of completion that I framed it J  Thank you to Savannah and all the fab volunteers and new friends I made.  Forever grateful.
  • It’s good to know where to get cheap ingredients for making low-cost meals. It’s also good to see them being used in the course.

Barrier: Time deficit cooking, and associated research & shopping, can take a lot of time

  • A great impact. Learnt cooking tips and new recipes.  A very enjoyable and necessary course .  The course is really needed in communities especially with people living busy lives. Recipes were quick and easy to cook.

Barrier: Food Access/Transport  do you have affordable shops nearby? Can you carry your groceries home?

  • …how to know what to look for when buying vegetables, local shops to get cheap ingredients…
  • Made me think more how to buy & what to buy & where… I like the preprepared bags …
  • The local tips re: best and cheapest shops particularly useful.
  • It’s helped to know where to save money, waste less food and make really lovely meals.
  • Alicia’s tips on how to freeze food and where to buy were very useful (as I can’t stand wasting it)
  • The instructor and volunteers are excellent at explaining how to cook – aside from the recipes info about purchasing cheap food.

Barrier: Perception of cost, time  people believe healthy food costs more

  • I’ve learnt that I can economise and eat well on a budget. The recipes are really healthy and very reasonable.
  • …discovered how simple it was preparing a healthy hot meal at reasonable cost…

This course has taught me delicious food isn’t hard or expensive to make.