Around 600 people have been taught how to create healthy meals with fresh ingredients through a series of Sutton Council-funded roadshows.
The People’s Kitchen, run by the Sutton Community Farm on behalf of the Liberal Democrat-led council, emphasised the importance of eating fresh food to 650 people with 590 of them actually taking part in cooking lessons.
Between April and July this year, there were seven roadshows in Sutton High Street and eight school visits to teach adults and children how to cook healthy food, give them recipe cards to take away and provide general advice on healthy eating.
They were also invited to take part in a quiz which tested how much they knew about nutrition and the healthiest ways to eat well.
Feedback from the project has been extremely encouraging with 78% of attendees saying that they had learnt new skills, and 55% planning on using them to create a new recipe. Most importantly, 74% said that the People’s Kitchen project had inspired them to focus on eating healthily on a daily basis.
At the schools, 79% of the young people said that they found the course useful, and 55% said they would start using a new ingredient when they cooked.
Councillor Colin Stears, Lib Dem Chair of Adult Social Services and Health Committee, said: “We believe in building healthy communities in Sutton and being able to cook meals with fresh ingredients is fundamental to achieving that.
“Through the People’s Kitchen around 600 people have learnt new skills that they can take home to their families. The project demonstrates that with the right knowledge such meals can cost the same or less than buying ready meals full of salt and preservatives.”
Samuel Smith, Managing Director of Sutton Community Farm, said: “We were thrilled to see so many people respond positively to the People’s Kitchen project. Eating healthy, locally-sourced food is extremely important for our residents and for our local economy.
“Sutton Community Farm is proud to run the People’s Kitchen project, and now we call on people to carry on learning about where their food comes from, why it’s important to buy fresh local produce and the best ways to eat healthily every day.”