Sunderland Change Council have taken steps to launch a cookbook packed with budget-busting low-cost recipes to support those leaving care.
The group of care leavers aged 16+ were kindly invited to use the kitchens at Sunderland College’s City Bistro where they served some of their trial recipes to invited lunch guests.
Change Council is supported by Together for Children, the organisation that delivers children’s services on behalf of Sunderland City Council.
It has been estimated that those who leave care without a job have only around £21 a week to spend on food, drink and transport after bills, therefore the easy to make recipes will support those living on a budget.
The innovative cookbook concept is that it will include a range of healthy batch meals that may be easily refrigerated or frozen and that the book will be given to young people moving into supported accommodation in Sunderland and available to purchase.
Brian aged 16, from Hylton Castle currently lives in one of Together for Children’s Children’s Homes and is receiving support from the TfC Next Steps Service, which provides practical help and advice to those preparing to leave care.
Brian said: “The chefs at Sunderland College have helped us to create a variety of recipes and it was a great experience to cook in a professional kitchen and fun to serve the dishes to guests who all commented on how good they tasted.
“Now we’ve had feedback on our dishes, we’re all looking forward to producing the cookbook.”
Deborah Jenkins, Chair at Together for Children said: “This cookbook follows the £21 Challenge that colleagues undertook last year that challenged them to live by a £21 meal allowance in a week.
“We are grateful to Sunderland College for their support and to Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group and HopeSpring who have contributed to starter packs for care leavers.”
The starter packs, which will be distributed alongside the cookbook when it launches soon, are crammed with a variety of kitchen essentials including salt, sugar, flour, rice, a measuring jug and more.