Here some of our FOOD Club members explain what they value about the scheme.
“I heard about FOOD Clubs through a children’s centre. The financial savings are a big part of why we belong to FOOD Club. But it also saves time as supermarket shopping takes longer for a big family. The money we save on food is used to give the children new experiences.
Myself and my husband both actively use and create with FOOD Club food. As parents with six children at home, eating together is a big part of our life. The children come with us to the weekly FOOD Club and then help plan and cook meals with us from what we get each week. They know why FOOD Club exists and about how food can be wasted otherwise.
We are vegan and really like how much fresh/seasonal fruit and veg is provided in the food offer every week. We make big batches of food and use it over several meals adding different flavours for variety.
It’s good when staff and volunteers give out extra information such as how to cook certain food items in the bag and recipes too. We also have great conversations with other families and staff about recipe ideas about ‘what’s in’ that week.”
“I heard about the service from my neighbour who said what she got in the box and the price, and I thought it sounded great. I liked the idea of using up food that would otherwise be going to landfill – it is helping the environment and it is helping me. It is an opportunity to have a good meal and reduce waste at the same time. I also like the idea of getting food that I wouldn’t normally buy. I use virtually everything that I get in the box – there is no wastage here. I love it – it is a surprise in a box every week!! I tell other people that is really good value for money and the quality is always really high.
We get some foods that we wouldn’t normally buy such as tinned barley. It was great for adding to soups and stews to make the meals go further. I have made some really nice soup with the vegetables and some coconut milk. We have now started using soya milk as we got some in the box once. We have tried lots of different milk through the FOOD club, for example cashew nut milk, almond milk, coconut milk and soya milk. We have even tried vegan cheese which we wouldn’t normally have bought. The meat is always really good quality. I had some lamb this week that I am going to make Ramen with.
Some weeks you even get steak, which I would only usually buy occasionally as a special treat due to the cost. The other week we got pomegranate which I would never normally buy but we added it to yoghurt and it was lovely. One week we got blueberries and pastry and I made a blueberry frangipane tart which I took back up to FOOD club for the staff to try.
It broadens my recipe ideas, it allows us to try healthier options and financially it is a good option, as it means we save on the weekly shop. It has stretched me to try cooking new things. By doing this, we have the equivalent of at least x2 free meals a week. My sixteen year old son loves it as he gets to try new dishes that we wouldn’t normally try. We get a good variety of foods each week from fruit/veg, meat, tinned goods, dairy foods, cereals etc.”
“I was recommended the FOOD Club by a friend. They also used the club and they thought that it would be of benefit to myself. It was very easy to use. The staff were very cordial and welcoming. I tend to go once a week or even once a fortnight as I only need to shop for myself. There is certainly enough food for one week and sometimes two weeks.
Due to a medical condition I stick to certain foods, and the staff are very accommodating. I like the wholemeal bread, plain yoghurt and fish. I find there are still lots of foods that I can choose from. It is absolutely value for money and I would recommend it to anyone. You get a lot for your money. If I had to score the club, I would give it 100 out of 100!!”
“I heard about FOOD Club from the local school that my children attend – they sent out an email. It was an easy process to join. It has allowed me to try some new foods and some unusual foods that I wouldn’t normally buy due to the cost. One example is pancakes – we tried them as they were included in the FOOD club box and I have bought them since when I saw them in the supermarket. It is really nice food and good quality too. You get lots of food for a cheap price.
It helps a lot with my shopping bills. Every little bit helps! I try to be economical with my shopping and this helps me to save money on my shopping bills, especially when I have three children. I would recommend it to anyone, and I have recommended it to all my friends. I have a big freezer so I can freeze some things, for example, one week there were a lot of cabbages so I shredded it and froze it.”
“I have been using FOOD Club for the last 6 months. I saw the advert in the local community centre up the road from me. It was easy to join with just a little bit of paperwork. The staff are really friendly and I love it there. I have tried lots of new vegetables, for example, fennel, artichoke, beetroot, butternut squash and little pumpkins. The staff even give you ideas on suggested ways to cook the vegetables. They recommended that I roast the beetroot, which I did. We all liked that.
I think it is an essential service with everything else going on at the minute. It really really helps me out as we are a family of 4. It would have cost me a lot more for shopping if I wasn’t a member of FOOD Club. It is brilliant value for money. They also have sessions with activities for children sometimes. For example, they had a soup making session where children could get involved with some activities. It is absolutely brilliant 99% of the time. I have recommended it to people and now lots of my friends also attend. My favourite item is salmon as this is so expensive that I wouldn’t usually be able to afford this in my weekly shop. I made a Fisherman’s Pie using the salmon and we all loved it!”