Our impact

Our Mentored Home Cooking course is designed to address the barriers to good health faced by those in poverty, and help them make long-term changes.

HOW WE ADDRESS THE CHALLENGES OF FOOD POVERTY

People often believe that the food poverty is caused by a lack of cooking skills. In reality, research and our own experience shows that people in poverty have similar cooking skills to the rest of the population, so this does not explain their significantly worse diet.

The real causes are the challenges our participants face in all aspects of their daily lives. These social determinants of health are complex, interlinked, societal issues that influence how and what we eat and the consequent impact on our physical, mental and financial health

Bags of Taste’s Mentored Home Cooking course is designed to tackle all of these barriers, and we make a positive impact in all areas.  This leads to dramatic changes to our students’’ diets and lasting improvements to the quality of their lives.

The Social Determinants of Health: Economic, Structural, Psychological and Practical

Economic

  • Cheap competing options
  • Perception of cost
  • Risk of waste
  • Energy costs
  • Transport costs
  • Storage (food & equipment)
  • Upfront costs/bulk buying

How we help

  • We provide all the ingredients and equipment for free. This means there is no risk of waste and provides the chance to try before you buy and also see if the kids will eat it.
  • Our recipes are low energy and mainly cooked on the hob and do not require lots of equipment. We make the process easy.
  • We provide essential equipment like knife sharpeners and measuring spoons for free.
  • All recipes cost less than a £1 a portion.
  • Many ingredients can go on the shelf so no refrigeration or freezer space is needed.

Structural

  • Cultural food preferences
  • Takeaway density
  • Access to food

Bags of Taste solutions

• Our local shopping guides mean that students can continue to buy affordable food
• Recipes are tasty and give a realistic alternative to takeaways and ready meals
• We encourage people to batch cook and freeze so that there is an instant alternative when you feel like a takeaway

Psychological

  • Mental health issues
  • Low confidence
  • Social isolation
  • Preferences for less healthy food (cultural/family)
  • Perception of cost
  • Allocation of time
  • Scarcity mindset

What we do

  • Our course is delivered in three stages, providing step by step guidance which builds and sustains confidence
  • Carefully packaged ingredients and user friendly recipes make everything easy and accessible
  • Experienced mentors encourage and motivate and staff provide long term support
  • Our on-line support groups maintain engagement and commitment by providing accountability and healthy competition
  • People with mental health issues may be unwilling to leave the house or engage with large groups, our course is done at home and they are in control.
  • At home, children get involved in the preparation so they are involved in eating and trying new foods.

Practical

  • Poor skills
  • Poor results
  • Access to information

How we make a difference

  • Our recipes illustrate specific cooking concepts and skills, meaning that students see real results rather than hypothetical outcomes.
  • Our course is designed for accessibility and inclusivity; reaching and teaching students using only a smartphone.
  • Course materials are created for diverse groups of people, including those with different learning and language abilities.
  • Materials and support are always available for course participants.
  • An ongoing support network with 70+ recipes, videos and on-call cooking support is available indefinitely for all course participants via social media – no need for cookbooks or much data.