Since 2010 Cracking Good Food have worked with and delivered:

Find out more in our Community Cooking Annual Summary

Project snapshot

When we established in 2010 our community outreach work was about connecting people to low carbon focal food, seasonality and bringing the love of cooking, eating and the growing to communities. Since Austerity our priorities have completely changed. With the exponential surge in Food Bank usage for those predominantly IN-work, the rise of food waste due to massive overproduction of cheap processed food (approx 15 million tonnes gets wasted in the UK each year), homelessness, obesity, diabetes and holiday hunger for children … we’ve been busy. Yet we are the 5th richest country in the world. This is immoral.

Austerity however, froze or greatly reduced all Public Sector, Health & Education budgets and with the competition for funding now, seven fold what it was, bidding for work and commissions are now harder and harder, if not near impossible. Like thousands of other organisations in the same situation, it was sink or shout.

We have thrown ourselves into working with the most destitute and in need, those without a home and have found small pots of funding along the way to keep us afloat. Making a positive difference to people’s lives is what drives us. And yes our campaigning arm to help overturn this abuse, has got a lot louder too.

We have recently worked with Trafford Housing Trust, teaching beneficaries of food parcels how to cook ingredients that they might otherwise struggle with; courgettes, aubergine, squash, celeriac or tofu might stump the best of us.

Working with the Over 50s as part of the Ambition for Ageing 18 month programme has been very rewarding, not to mention our regular work in Hattersley with Onward Housing, teaching residents how to cook the contents of their food parcels. It is not just those in food poverty that can’t cook. We are delivering our most ambitious programmes to date, via Manchester Adult Education Service, (up to 5 sessions a week) working with residents in hostels who lead very chaotic lives, with heart wrenching backgrounds. Never judge someone until you’ve walked in their shoes we say.

We are also working with families from two Sure Start centres in Cheetham Hill and Old Moat soon, teaching basic good affordable cooking – there’s never been a more important time than now to be adaptable and creative with your food.

So do come and join us, by volunteering, or let us know if we can work in your community. We’re sure there’ll be a way, because everyone deserves good food. You just have to keep fighting for it.

For an insight in the work we’ve done over 10 years have a look at our annual summary:

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We can show you, as well as discuss a healthy diet, nutrition, how to minimise food waste, bulk cooking, the importance of introducing a wide range of flavours to children, making use of leftovers, saving money & time, how to see through the marketing, the dangers of processed foods and labelling, plus basic hygiene and safe food handling.

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In May 2018, 100 organisations and individuals met to address and eradicate food poverty in Greater Manchester. Food bank usage has risen by 73% in the last 5 years. Chaired by GMPA, we broke into 7 subgroups with CGF co-chairing Skills & training group, one of 7 subgroups, we’re all committed in joining forces to achieve this. From faith groups, academics, charities, counsellors, support groups to those experiencing food poverty, we’re committed. Can you join us and help?


Partnering with The Bread and Butter Thing, a charity that provides surplus unwanted food for a very small cost, we were able to show those in receipt of their food bags, exactly how to cook it.  Often there would be courgettes, squash, cous cous or celery in the bags, for example, that some weren’t sure how to cook.  Or if they did, they had memories of how awful cabbage or mushrooms tasted so didn’t want to use them. We cooked stuffed mushrooms with garlic, breadcrumbs, tomatoes and melted cheese, vermicelli noodles with prawns/chorizo and wild green beans, mushroom soup, tortillas, stews… and more. Never has a bag full of uncooked food become so tasty and inspiring!

We are currently rolling out a social eating programme for the over 50s with Ambition for Ageing with Southway Housing. Many in this age bracket may be single and without children or parents and facing social isolation. These regular sessions bring people together, reveal easy, nutritious meals to prepare and how to store it safely for later.

We continue to cook at the Longford centre, a homeless prevention centre, bringing residents who are on the brink of homelessness to cook affordable, tasty food from scratch together socially, extending it to 3 other hostels for women/men only plus families so that the belief some have that readymeals are the only affordable option, can be dispelled. Cooking from scratch can be very affordable IFyou know WHAT to cook and HOW.  Feedback from a Longford resident- Robert was liked by everybody and all residents looked forward to seeing him the following week. Without Robert’s knowledge I wouldn’t be able to cook for myself. This opportunity had emerged from our collaboration with Reach out to the Community & other support groups who’d helped us create a film about homelessness, by interviewing those who’d experienced it.

We’d love to screen it again in your community or workplace to raise awareness of the issues: Facts not Opinions. Can we?

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Find out more about the full range of our historic community outreach work from 2010 up to 2019.

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