Sugar Tax to Encourage Groups Like Friends of Families

October 22, 2015

A sugar tax and cutting buy-one-get-one-free deals are part of Public Health England’s “key actions” to tackle people’s addiction to sugar.

Their long-awaited report says the nation is “eating too much sugar” leading to health problems and obesity.

The idea suggests:

  • A sugar tax between 10% and 20%
  • Significantly reducing advertising high sugar food and drink to children
  • Targeting supermarkets and take-away special offers
  • Sugar reduction in everyday food and drink
  • Ensure the sale of healthier foods in hospitals and other public bodies

The sugar tax idea encourages groups like Friends of Families (FOF), based in Wigan.

FOF recently completed a healthy eating project to encourage the local community to reduce their salt and sugar intake, which was aimed at students with families and a limited disposable income.

The project, free for attendees ran for 8 weeks and, although just one member of each family attended, the beneficiaries of this project were the whole family as each week a full meal was produced for their evening meal during the lessons on how to produce a healthy meal on a budget. Participants were also learning a variety of recipes to cook for their families on a budget.

The course covered Healthy & Safety; Food Hygiene and budgeting. Each week the group also conducted a food comparison for attendees to test three different brands of the same product to dispel the myths of “budget buys”.

As well as lessons and courses, the project also produced a recipe book created by the students to take away at the end of the course.

Each student cooked with a ‘GO CHEF’ multi-cooker, producing healthy meals economically in terms of produce and efficiency.

Two tutors worked with the group as did a designer, who helped and encouraged the students to produce the recipe booklet for use after the project had been completed.

The first week of the project gave each member of the group a sample menu. The group were then encouraged to seek out new healthy recipes for the rest of the project to be put into their recipe book.

At the end of the 8 week course all students who attended and participated well were given their own ‘GO CHEF’ to take home and continue to produce healthy cost effective meals for the family.

A list of the meals cooked over the 8 weeks were:

  1. Corn beef hash
  2. Spaghetti Bolognese
  3. Liver & onions
  4. Chicken, mushrooms & cream
  5. Oxtail broth
  6. Beef bourguignon
  7. Chilli con carne
  8. Irish Stew

Each participant learnt a great deal throughout the 8-week course and really benefited from the hints and tips given to them by the course leaders and their fellow participants.

The group had different skill levels and benefited from the exchange of ideas with each other; some could not cook at all and lived on fast food and frozen meals, others could cook but learned a great deal about alternatives and budgeting.

The great news about this project is that people in the group enjoyed it so much that they have carried on meeting following the end of the course.

As well as helping individuals with budgeting and having a healthy meal at home, this project helped people to meet new friends over a mutual curiosity for making healthy food on a lower budget.

Friends of Families received funding from Forever Manchester earlier this year. As a thank you earlier this month the group took part in Caketober, baking and raising over £100 to help us to benefit more people like them across Greater Manchester. If you’re a community project that would like to raise money for Forever Manchester this October head to the Caketober website by clicking here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>