Families learn to plan low-cost healthy meals

FAMILIES in Salisbury are being helped to create tasty and cost-effective meals during weekly cookery classes.
Wiltshire Council housing tenants have been taking part in lessons with The Pantry Partnership CIC, aimed at giving those involved the skills and confidence to eat healthily and on a budget.
The six-week course, held weekly at St Michaels Community Centre, in Bemerton Heath, is aimed at helping families plan low-cost nutritious meals to help with household budgets.

The Pantry Partnership is a social enterprise based in and around Salisbury who work with the local community, providing low cost, nutritious meals from surplus food that normally would go to waste and offering cooking workshops and food related activities that engage people around food and the benefits of low cost and healthy cooking.

Cllr Phil Alford, cabinet member for housing, said: “Supporting communities to live safely and healthily is a key priority in our business plan and with the current cost of living crisis, and the ever more important need to save money and budget effectively, we are delighted to team up with The Pantry Partnership to deliver these cookery courses to some of our Salisbury families.

“Participants have benefited from learning knife skills and all about food hygiene and, importantly, are also gaining some great budget advice, healthy recipe ideas, shopping tips and techniques.
“They also have the added benefit of taking their freshly prepared and healthy meals home to their families after each session. Participants are also provided with aprons and knives to help to get them started back at home.
“Our housing resident engagement officers are always looking to work with residents to provide opportunities to be involved in positive activities that promote skill development, as well helping them to adopt healthy behaviours while keeping costs down.

“We hope to be able to offer more of these courses in the future.”
Director of The Pantry Partnership, Fiona Ollerhead, added: “The course has been designed to include both parents and their children, helping families to make finances stretch to meet smaller budgets as well as aiming to ensure healthy eating is not only experienced but enjoyed by young people.
“One of the approaches that we aim to instil is a love of food using basic and simple (and often also low cost) ingredients to create delicious food, thus inspiring people to continue to cook easy, yet tasty meals at home, on a budget.

“We are also keen to save food from going into the bin, so we show people through demos and activities how to make the best of fruit and vegetables, bread and odds and ends and to create healthy meals from them.”
Siobhan, one of the course participants, said: “Thank you so much for such a great start to the cookery course. We love our aprons and knives.”

Information about Wiltshire Council’s cost of living support, including energy cost advice, housing advice and financial support, can be found at

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