Blogs

THE EPSOM PANTRY COOKERY WORKSHOPS…

Posted by Kat Heath on 04 Dec 2023

The Epsom Pantry is a community hub and food shop located in the heart of Epsom town centre.  The community led initiative which is run in conjunction with the Good Company charity organisation (charity no: 1197493) has helped over 198 families facing difficulties alone in the last 12 months.

The objective of the pantry is to offer a choice of affordable groceries to its members who are experiencing high levels of food insecurity.  All members are greeted with compassion, respect and support in this lovely and warm hub environment.

Members are charged £5 for up to 10 items plus free fruit, vegetables and bread.  The food in the pantry is often donated by local businesses, organisations and by members of the public, ranging from long life items such as cereals to frozen meat and vegetables.

Workshops at The Epsom Pantry
Every month The Pantry offer workshops to their members.
The workshops are led by expert volunteers demonstrating various cookery or craft classes.
Jane, who works at The Epsom Pantry explains the importance of these workshops in the fact that they give members a chance to learn something new, socialise and feel part of a community.

This week I had the pleasure in joining local chef Renu Ballantine demonstrate and teach the members about slow cooker cooking.  Using the slow cooker is one of the cheapest methods of cooking, using 1/16 of the energy used in a conventional oven.
Therefore a great way of saving money on electricity during the winter months.

Renu had prepared a beautiful lunch of slow cooked Turkey chilli and jacket potatoes, which we all enjoyed whilst discussing our cooking styles at home, we also talked about any challenges we face when cooking and feeding families on a budget.  Renu gave the group a booklet with balanced, healthy and economical recipes to be created in a slow cooker.  She also discussed how to use the slow cooker as an everyday appliance to feed your family economically without needing much time.

After lunch Renu showed the members how to prepare the Turkey chilli.  All members at the workshop were given a demonstration on preparing and chopping the vegetables featured in the recipe to prevent waste and then they gave it a go themselves!

They all left with the vegetables for their chilli prepared in a slow cooker bag (this is placed in the slow cooker to prevent needing to wash the appliance out! Which for me is a game changer!)
And also the rest of the ingredients for their chilli!  Slow cookers were kindly donated to the attendees of the workshop too, which was really lovely to see and meant they could utilise what they learnt in the workshop at home.

The main objectives of the workshops are to give members a chance to explore economical ways of cooking whilst creating healthy and balanced meals which is imperative to achieve good physical and mental health.  It also provides the members with a sense of community encouraging social interaction and the chance to meet new people and make friends or connections.
I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and learnt so much from whilst enjoying a beautifully prepared meal!

How you can help The Epsom Pantry
The Epsom Pantry relies on donations throughout the year.

To make a one off or regular monetary donations which is used towards purchasing groceries for the pantry visit https://epsomandewellfoodbank.enthuse.com/Donate#!/

Alternatively you can donate food directly at The Epsom Pantry every Wednesday between 10am-12 midday
24 South Street
Epsom
Or at the collection point outside Epsom Library.

For more information on The Epsom Pantry visit:
https://www.yourlocalpantry.co.uk/pantry-listings/epsom-pantry/

Or email: pantry@goodcompany.org.uk
Or tel: 07862322772

Kat xx

 
Kat Heath
Kat Heath is a qualified beauty therapist and a mum of two boys, Harry and Elliott.

Kat also has been a marketing ambassador and blogger for many on-line mummy sites as well as working as a therapist for Decleor, Clarins and Guinot within Selfridges, Peter Jones and John Lewis.

Her passions are fashion, interiors, wellbeing and food!

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