Energy grid teams up with food charity UKHarvest to help families during the cost of living crisis with new education programme ‘Food and Fuel’.

The partnership between Cadent, UK Power Networks and UKHarvest aims to reach up to 20,000 pupils and their families in 70 schools across the East of England. This project will help people to eat well for less and cut the cost of cooking by exploring fuel efficient methods, introducing new technologies and revisiting some traditional essentials.

The new partnership will help families experiencing or at risk of food and fuel poverty.

Food and Fuel supports the financial and physical wellbeing of young pupils and their families and will offer workshops, lessons, web-based assemblies and online cook-alongs. The scheme also gives ingredients to families and an innovative opportunity to borrow slow cookers and air fryers from school libraries.

The project supports the wider environmental and community mission of UKHarvest, to help people out of food insecurity and end food waste across the UK. The charity also offers education across the country and hosts an award-winning community food hub in London.

Recent figures from The Food Foundation show one in four households with children can’t afford the healthy meals they need for their family. With high inflation on the costs of food and energy, households are looking for ways to reduce expenditure. Even if a food bank or pantry can provide free or low-cost food parcels, it still costs money to prepare the meals.

Yvonne Thomson, CEO of UKHarvest says: “It’s heartbreaking to see so many people affected by the cost of living crisis. We meet families every day who are forced to choose between paying for heating or feeding themselves. We’ve launched this project to immediately ease some of the pressures faced by those most in need, to enable everyone to prepare healthy food at an affordable price. This adds value to the support we already provide directly to charities and individuals through our food rescue and redistribution service, community hubs and by helping people cook well for less and make the most of their food.”

Ian Cameron, Director of Customer Service and Innovation at UK Power Networks said: “Our customers are facing unprecedented challenges, so we have expanded our fuel poverty support over the last year, working with more partners than ever before to deliver practical support to more customers. We are delighted to team up with UKHarvest and Cadent to help support more of those families who are struggling the most this winter.”

Phil Burrows, Head of Customer Vulnerability Social Programme Delivery says “Cadent are committed to supporting families that are living in fuel poverty. Each week many families are making a difficult decision between heating their homes and feeding their families. This project will support many families across our networks to alleviate some of the challenges they currently face by giving help and guidance on cooking nutritious, healthy and cost effective meals that will feed their family.”

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