The Good Food BagEnvironmental Sustainability | Health and Wellbeing | Poverty
What is the project?
The benefits of The Good Food Bag are that it's low cost, provides east to follow recipes, the ingredients pre-portioned and the food it good quality. With the Good Food Bag, there's no fancy cooking kit needed and no waste produced.
With our no commitment formula, there is lots of scope to try our recipes as and when it works for our customers! We have some great recipes such as Chicken Noodle Bowl, Spaghetti Bolognese (but better!), Cowboy Pie and Lemon Roasted Vegetables with Haloumi and Couscous. We have something for everyone!
Who is the project targeted at?
We want to help people budget their money when times are tight as well as be a great value offering when you're not counting your pennies.
We aim to be in places where there are limited options as far as purchasing good value, quality food. We are an easy option for busy people, those unsure in the kitchen or those who just need a different answer to the question 'what's for tea?'
We offer cook-a-long sessions and provide meal kits during the school holidays and half terms via housing associations/children's centres as well as selling directly to the public.
Why did the project come about?
The project came about from a National Federation for Housing Greenhouse Project. The Greenhouse was many registered housing providers working together to try to solve common problems. The group working on the 'poverty premium' dreamt of accessible fresh food for everyone, even those living in a food desert. And thus The Good Food Bag was born! The main idea was conceived by a larger group but the two housing associations who took the idea forward were One Manchester and Irwell Valley Homes - who still financially support The Good Food Bag today.
How was this project implemented?
The Good Food Bag started in Sale West, Trafford in 2020 (yes, it was tough to start up during the pandemic!). We are still in Sale West on Tuesdays and have a weekly presence in Hulme (Wednesdays) & Gorton (Fridays) in partnership with Healthy Me, Healthy Communities. We also have a weekly presence in Salford (Tues/Weds/Friday) thanks to our partnership with Lucie's Pantry @ Emmaus.
How was this project funded?
This project is funded by the sale of our meal kits as well as additional support from One Manchester and Irwell Valley Homes. We also work with other housing providers to supply meal kits to ease the pressures of school holidays for families. Jigsaw is a great supporter of The Good Food Bag in two of it's areas - Clayton & Gorton. We have lots of capacity to work with other providers to find the right fit for their neighbourhoods!
Outcomes so far
Since we have been supplying our meal kits to the children's centres in Clayton & Gorton we have had fantastic feedback that families have been cooking together and the children were trying new foods.
We know people have been enjoying the ease of having everything to cook with in one bag - especially with how busy people are working from home and trying to do home schooling in between!
We are working with community grocers to help our customers understand what help is on their doorstep they may otherwise have not known about. These spaces also offer a place to volunteer or donate to should our customers be looking to share what they have.
We also work in community grocer spaces to highlight to people the next step in terms of their food budgets - one week they may choose pantry and the next week they can choose our meal kits. We love being another option for people in Manchester.
We are growing! We are making new links and partnerships every month and this is resulting in more collection points, stronger community ties and fantastic team work to help everyone in Manchester access fresh, affordable, good food.