We are very pleased to have hosted the lauch of the Scottish Government's new Eat Better Feel Better campaign today. It’s great to have a Scottish government campaign that complements and supports the work that community food and health projects like us are already doing. Pilton has a wealth of local community food projects that link together through the Food for Thought Forum. Because of the dedication and skills of these local residents and agencies, eating well in the area is easier. This campaign should help all these groups reach more local residents.
However, while local people tell us that they do want to eat better, the barriers they face can make it difficult. Often people who attend our cooking groups lack basic equipment like cookers and fridges. Budgets are tight; we find that while locals are good at making small amounts of money go a long way, this often means they cannot afford healthier food options, or the fuel to cook them.
At our recent ‘Good Food for All’ event local people told us that low income is the most significant barrier to eating healthily. Austerity measures, increasingly insecure employment and low wages (below Living Wage) mean that increasing numbers are resorting to food banks. The Poverty Alliance told us about the shame people feel when they need to use food banks. While local food projects are working hard to support people with their cooking and budgeting skills, these financial barriers also need to be tackled at a policy level.
Full report to follow late January and will be available on our website.
Pilton Community Health Project’s work with food
PCHP’s Food team works with volunteers and local partners to support local people develop their understanding and knowledge to eat well on a budget including cooking skills, budgeting, meal planning and wider food issues.
We do this by running cooking sessions, lots of 'cook and taste' sessions in the community, delivering 'bite size' sessions on eating well and much more. You can get involved by joining one of our groups, becoming a volunteer or attending Food for Thought Forum meetings.
PCHP also supports and offers the local community access to food related training courses to develop their skills. We are now able to support others to deliver quick and easy healthy eating sessions using our nutrition toolkit.