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Palace for Life aim to get Croydon cooking

Palace for Life to start teaching how to make easy, cheap and nutritious meals for south London families, using ingredients they may already have at home.

The number of people using foodbanks in the UK has drastically risen over the past decade, with one in 50 homes using emergency food aid in the past year. In London alone, more than 166,000 food parcels were provided to those in need.

In a bid to help more south London families prepare low-cost and nutritious meals at home, Palace for Life Foundation is running free cooking classes for families and children throughout January.

The group classes will educate attendees on how to use ingredients that are commonly available in foodbank parcels and everyone who attends will receive a slow cooker to help them replicate the meals at home.

Palace for Life Foundation Health and Wellbeing Manager Beth Towle explained: “Through our Healthy Eagles programme we know that many families and young people in south London either don’t have access to regular, healthy meals, or are lacking the knowhow to utilise certain ingredients that they receive through foodbanks.

“We’re determined to take positive steps to help tackle this and will be running our cooking classes throughout January, aiming to provide not just food, but also education and advice in a safe, welcoming and fun environment.”

In addition, Palace for Life’s ‘Cook Like a Pro’ junior cooking classes will be running for eight to 16-year-olds. Children will learn simple recipes to try at home and also how to build a healthy and balanced diet and reduce sugar intake.

Anna, aged 10, who attended last year, learnt many new cooking skills and also improved her reading as she became confident in reading recipe books.

She said: “Cooking is now my favourite hobby, it makes me feel happy and excited and if I’ve had a bad day at school it calms me down. I liked making friends at the session too.”

Both the family and under-16 courses will run at Salvation Army in Thornton Heath. For more information, please email Health@Palaceforlife.org or call 0208 7686047.

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