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Michael Barker

BY MICHAEL BARKER

@michaelbarker

Tuesday 23rd February 2021, 10:23 London

Tesco ramps up community cooks programme

Supermarket's Community Cookery School moves into its second phase as it looks to boost knowledge of healthy cooking

Tesco ramps up community cooks programme

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Tesco has launched the second phase of its Community Cookery School, in partnership with Jamie Oliver and FareShare, to help train cooks in delivering helpful and practical food education to families in their communities.

The programme aims to train 300 community cooks, such as those who operate food banks or charity kitchens, to teach families how to cook simple, balanced and delicious recipes. Following the training, the community cooks will teach at least 15 people in their local community how to cook balanced meals, ultimately reaching 4,500 people between February and May 2021.

The first of the virtual lessons was streamed live on Monday 22 February, with two further sessions planned in April and May. Developed by Tesco development chefs, Jamie Oliver-trained community cooks and nutritionists, the course covers knife skills and basic nutrition while also offering flexible recipes which can be adapted to complement a wide variety of typically donated food. Crucially, the programme will teach participants how to effectively pass on these skills to others.

Training is free, and participants receive funding to purchase food and any cooking equipment to take part. Printed lesson plans and recipes are also available on the training programme’s website.

The cookery school initiative launched in 2019 with the aim of training 1,000 community cooks – a target which was achieved by January 2020. The programme was developed in partnership with Tesco’s health ambassador Jamie Oliver and food distribution charity FareShare, and sought to provide recipes and skills to make the most of the food typically donated to charities such as tinned food and store cupboard ingredients. This year’s campaign is focused on the importance of cooking balanced meals from scratch by offering ideas and recipes to increase the use of fruit and veg in everyday meals.

Sue Couter, community programme and charities manager, said: “I’m thrilled to be working closely again with FareShare and Jamie Oliver to help families with the support, guidance and inspiration needed to make balanced and affordable everyday meals. Now more than ever, nutrition is so important – and small additions or swaps can make a big difference.”

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