FOOD & BEVERAGE
Recipe box company Gousto is working with one of the UK’s most active food banks on a new pilot program to make food boxes healthier.
As current food parcels are designed for people in occasional crisis, they typically consist of NHS-approved foods such as long-lasting essentials like canned beans, canned spaghetti, soups and cereals.
However, Hammersmith and Fulham Foodbank has found that up to a third of its food goes to people who return at least once a month as inflation hits its highest level in 40 years.
Gousto is now working with the organization, which is part of the Trussell Trust network, to test the mental, physical and social benefits of delivering fresh, healthy food parcels in the form of meal kits.
Funded by the local council and Gousto, the pilot project will run over 12 weeks in Hammersmith and Fulham, and will kick off during the summer holidays as families face the added pressure of feeding their children.
Research by the council and supported by Imperial College London’s Personal Care Research Unit will assess the mental health and wellbeing benefits of improved food parcels and accessible home cooking, as well as physical and social impacts. It is hoped that the learnings will help inform the approach of emergency food providers across the country.
The vegetarian meal kits were designed by Gousto’s nutritionist and dietitian, Ellie Bain. Each recipe includes at least two servings of fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains and healthy fats like nuts, seeds, eggs and avocados. Each meal takes less than 30 minutes to cook and can be prepared without an oven to save energy.
Gousto CEO and Founder Timo Boldt said, “Everything we do at Gousto is driven by our goal to positively impact people and the planet. With our expertise in creating healthy, balanced meals, we hope to have a real impact on the nation’s health starting with this groundbreaking pilot project.
“We are proud to work with the Hammersmith and Fulham Foodbank, part of the Trussell Trust network, and help provide immediate support to the community in and around our London headquarters. We believe in the power of nutritious home cooking to improve health and well-being, and we look forward to seeing how this pilot project will inform future food bank strategies.
The pilot’s recipes cover breakfast, lunch and dinner for one week and will be delivered weekly by Hammersmith and Fulham Foodbank volunteers for 12 weeks. Recipes include Chilli with Cheese and Black Beans, Three-Vegetable Sesame Ramen with Egg, and Simple One-Pot Puttanesca.
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