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FOOD Club means different things to different people. Here one of our members speaks about how it has encouraged her family to try new foods and recipes, meet new people, save money, and get involved in other activities at the children’s centre.

“I initially signed up for the FOOD club running from the children’s centre I went to with my pre-school age child. I have three children and at the time I joined, I had strong feelings about food going to landfill and we always try to use all food we have at home and not waste things. I freeze anything that might go out of date and store things in tightly sealed mason jars in the fridge to extend the life of the food.

I joined FOOD Club with my sister-in-law, and we enjoy swapping ideas for using what’s in the food box and chatting to other FOOD Club members. I have tried food items at the club for the first time that have been in my box. I’m currently looking for different ways of using the celeriac from a recent box – and new to my family.

With the recent increase in food costs, I now go to FOOD Club to help with the household budget too. When I have been to the club and know what we have that week, I then shop for other things to add to it and make meals for the family for the week.

I sometimes swap some items with other members, as my young children do not like everything we are offered. I do have a way of dealing with veg fussiness though – I cook and then blitz up to seven vegetables and use the puree in recipes (there is a great 7 veg one by Jamie Oliver) and the veg then get eaten!

The voluntary and paid staff are amazing. They go out of their way to accommodate my dietary requirements. One of the volunteers, John, used to be a chef and gives us recipes for the items that are in the FOOD Club box.

There have been other benefits of belonging to FOOD Club. I have joined in the LifeSkills Food and Fun sessions held alongside the club – discussing, for instance, budgeting and looking at how much food items cost in different places.

At Christmas, the staff at our club gave all members’ children a Christmas stocking filled with goodies. They paid for this with their own money. The volunteers are real assets to the charity. We also benefited at Christmas from a family board game, Pictionary, from a company donation.”