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Mersey cookery classes serving up skills for Food Waste Action Week 2023

Eight community projects in the Liverpool City Region are helping people to cut food waste, eat healthier and save money after a funding boost. The projects have been given a share of £110,000 through the Merseyside Recycling & Waste Authority Community Fund 2022/23, which supports community reuse, recycling and waste prevention initiatives across the region. This week (6th to 12th March) marks Food Waste Action Week 2023, the UK’s biggest annual food waste reduction campaign, organised by the Love Food Hate Waste programme. The eight local projects are using the week to highlight how much food could be stopped from going to waste by shopping smarter, meal planning and improving cookery skills and use of ingredients. The organisations are delivering a variety of initiatives across Merseyside such as cookery classes, compost sessions and grow-your-own workshops to help reduce household food waste. One of the groups to receive funding is Liverpool-based Bay Tree Cookery Academy CIC.

Michelle O’Dwyer of Bay Tree, said: “Bay Tree Cookery Academy CIC has been running projects that work with vulnerable groups to teach food preparation, cooking and budgeting and food handling and storage skills over several years. Our latest project is targeting groups who benefit from learning skills that help reduce food waste, such as those living on fixed incomes and low incomes, people with disabilities, mental health challenges, unemployed people and veterans. “The unique aspect of this project is that we’re teaching skills to minimise food waste rather than just cookery skills. We’re focussed on shopping on a budget, food handing and hygiene, using leftovers, and evaluating portion sizes. It’s a serious matter, but we’re making sure everyone is having fun while they learn!”

The eight projects are:

  • Bay Tree Cookery Academy CIC – Cook And Save (see pictures above).
  • British Dietetic Association – Waste Warriors.
  • Centre 63 – Remake Yourself Hub.
  • Compost Works – Share Food And Compost The Rest.
  • Farm Urban – Future Food Heroes 2.0.
  • Knowsley Foodbank – Chloe Cooks.
  • Porchfield Community Association
  • Wargrave House College – Not Too Shabby

An estimated 106,064 tonnes* of avoidable household food is wasted in the Liverpool City Region each year. A lot of this could still be used and would save the average family £720** a year in groceries. It is this behaviour the projects are looking to change.

Councillor Tony Concepcion, Chairperson of Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority said: “We are delighted to support all of these projects. The facts show that on average we throw away over one hundred thousand tonnes of avoidable food every year on Merseyside – almost a third of the average general household waste bin. That includes millions of loaves of bread, whole chickens, litres of milk.

“Food waste is a big issue with significant environmental effects. Projects like these can get people to recognise that the food they buy exists within a circular economy – from farm to fork – while having a real impact in reducing household food waste and saving households money on grocery bills.”

The organisations have until the end of March 2023 to deliver their projects.


Notes to editors:

The attached images show Bay Tree Cookery Academy CIC, 2023.

*MRWA LCR Waste Composition Analysis 2021/22


The MRWA Community Fund food-saving projects:

Bay Tree Cookery Academy CIC – Cook And Save will try to cut food waste with 18×2-day cookery/training courses.

British Dietetic Association – Waste Warriors. The BDA has recruited 15 people from ten community cooking clubs to deliver 75 food waste cookery classes.

Centre 63 – Remake Yourself Hub. The Kirkby-based project is hosting food waste sessions.

Compost Works – Share Food And Compost The Rest is delivering 12 training sessions and 40 weekly support sessions for composting.

Farm Urban – Future Food Heroes 2.0. The next stage of the Future Food Heroes project is delivering seven community events and 72 training sessions with six primary schools, as well as six celebration events and a regional finale at Farm Urban.

Knowsley Foodbank – Chloe Cooks. Knowsley Foodbank is holding 40 food/cookery training sessions to five groups over eight weeks.

Porchfield Community Association – Porchfield Community Association is a clothes and food waste project which is offering 3×5-week cookery courses.

Wargrave House College – Not Too Shabby @ The Lyme@ Wood Learning Hub. This multi-material project is hosting workshops on food as well as furniture, textiles, wood and metals.