Bags Of Taste
Head Of Fundraising
Bags of Taste is a non-profit organisation that supports people who live in food poverty to cook healthy home cooked food for themselves for under £1 per portion. We work directly with the most vulnerable people in need so families can have improved health and diets, increased finances and more independence and control of what they and their families eat. Our comprehensive programme addresses the structural, economic, psychological and physical barriers that people in poverty face and has a lasting impact.
Our cause fits health but also poverty alleviation, food, health and education and skills.
At Bags of Taste, we work with people so they can overcome the many barriers they face to improving their diets. Since 2014, we have helped nearly 6,000 people to improve their diets. We have good evaluation and monitoring systems so we can clearly see the impact that we are making. Our outcomes include an 85% drop in takeaway consumption, increased vegetable consumption, improved health and savings in finances, with annual savings of £1,350 per household. We recently followed up on participants and they told us that the impact one year later was bigger than the impact just after the course. Our evidence shows that our participants are cooking food from scratch at home, making significant savings and eating less ready meals and takeaways. They are also enjoying food and sharing their skills with their families.
We operate 12 branches, 9 in London and also in Thanet, Sheffield, and Hastings. Pre-pandemic, we ran 4 week courses in community settings but we have now adapted our delivery to run a series of Mentored Virtual courses, which have been popular and successful. Over 1,200 have completed the Mentored Virtual courses since March 2020. We have had a 75% completion rate for this course and demand has been high. Participants are given step by step guides and videos so they can cook 3 recipes and they are each allocated a mentor who can support, encourage and motivate and they are part of a supportive Whats app group. They are all delivered a bag of ingredients which has everything they need to cook all the recipes.
Evidence shows that it is this bag of ingredients that helps them to take part in the course. This is because participants are able to test out what they have learned with no outlay. After the course, participants are encouraged to join our student facebook group where they can engage in a supportive community who will encourage them to continue to cook.
Bags of Taste is increasingly recognised as a thought leader in the area of food poverty.
Our services have never been needed more than ever. The Food Foundation released a report last week (March 2021).
Food insecurity remains higher than pre-Covid levels affecting an estimated 4.7 million adults (9% of households) over the last six months. This compares to pre-Covid levels of 7.6%.
55% of those experiencing food insecurity (an estimated 2.5 million adults) said it was because they did not have enough money for food, 31% said it was due to isolation, 23% said it was lack of access and supply and 8% cited other reasons in the last six months.