Student Hub

“Hello Manchester Students!

At Cracking Good Food, we realise how hard it can be to shop and eat well when you’re a student; not only are your purse strings tight, but it can be hard to start cooking recipes from scratch when you’ve got last night’s party to clear up and clean up! And it also seems like all the local ‘express’ shops have a limited and …pricey range of fresh stuff?

Whilst we can’t help you with the cleaning up, this is how we CAN support you to eat healthy, sustainable and affordable food whilst also supporting local people and strengthening the local economy.


Join us on the 31st January to celebrate a month of Veganuary with a live vegan cook-along. For just £5 our awesome Cooking Leader Sam will teach you everything you need to know about making totally delicious vegan-friendly Chinese Dumplings with homemade chilli dip from affordable, easily sourced ingredients and without the need for any specialist equipment – you’ll learn the perfect recipe to celebrate Chinese New Year!

Book Your Place Here:


£5 per person
6pm – 7.30pm

Once you have booked your place, we will email you with a full list of ingredients and equipment needed, and we will send you a Zoom link on the day.

Veganuary COOKAlong


Shop local, Eat Well

Let’s start with talking about the many pros of shopping at independent international shops like these:

INTERNATIONAL INGREDIENTS – from exotic mushrooms to labneh to tahini to any herb or spice you didn’t know you needed – you’ll find a whole new world of tasty new food stuffs if you’re brave enough to try. And for the more seasoned cook, you’ll find Ottolenghi ingredients for almost any recipe too…

GREAT FRESH PRODUCE – from a vast selection of fruit & veg to AMAZING bread (order a ‘pide bread’ at the counter in Venus Foods and dunk it in some hummus – you won’t regret it!) to handmade pastries and the gooiest of baklava – the fresh produce in these stores is incredible.

BIG BUNCHES OF HERBS – forget the sad bunches of expensive plastic-wrapped herbs in the supermarkets – bring even the dullest of dishes to life and enhance its healthiness by adding loads flavoursome fresh herbs. Not only are they cheaper in these shops – the range is wider (well hello fresh dill) and the quality way higher. Store your coriander or parsley upright in a glass of water to keep it fresh.

EVERY SPICE YOU’LL EVER NEED! Forget the tiny jars of spices you find in supermarkets, with such limited range! From cumin to coriander, fennel to fenugreek, allspice to anise – you’ll get it all, and for much cheaper here!


BULK BUY TO SAVE TIME & MONEY – Most international stores have rice, lentils, beans, pulses, tinned tomatoes, chickpeas, cooking oil and spices to buy in bulk. Why not team up with your housemates and split the cost of some bulk buys? You can use old take-away tubs or glass jars to divvy it up – you’ll save money and reduce the amount of single-use plastic packaging.

SUPPORTING LOCAL – by shopping at more independent shops, not only do you benefit in the ways listed above, but you also contribute towards the local economy, meaning that local people and families benefit from your support rather than large multinationals..

Plant Based Pantry Support Sessions

Meanwhile meet Clare, our Vegan Cooking Leader who’s here to help you meet your Veganuary Goals and get your Vegan Pantry stocked up. Clare will be LIVE on Instagram for our 2 FREE Plant Based Pantry Support Sessions on January 21st & January 28th from 6pm-6.45pm – drop in for a chance to ask her anything plant-based, and to hear tips and info which will help support your Veganuary efforts whether you are a life-long vegan or are simply vegan-curious!

Resources: Store Cupboard

In the meantime, here are some blog posts from Clare to help you stock the perfect plant-based pantry so you are ready to cook up a Veganuary storm!

Follow us on the socials below for more about our work, and for handy hints on eating well for less.

Volunteering opportunities

Did you know we have cooked and distributed over 50897 meals using donated food, and ingredients from 19.5 tonnes of surplus food intercepted by Fareshare, as part of our Covid 19 emergency Response?

On top of this, we run our Cookery School and Foraging Expeditions to subsidise the many outreach projects we run, throughout which we empower and educate communities to cook healthy, affordable and sustainable food from scratch. As a volunteer, you’ll have chance to learn skills from experienced chefs – it’s also really fun AND you will get fed!

We are always looking for reliable, enthusiastic volunteers to help us with our work. We have a role for everyone – from kitchen work, to packing, admin and deliveries – and we aim to make sure our regular volunteers

learn some new skills whilst they are with us. So far we have gratefully put to good use 6052 hours of donated time!

You may even be able to help us with our upcoming Christmas project. This Christmas, we will be working with Brunswick Church, Lifeshare charity and the Niamos Centre, Hulme to deliver hot food, hope, entertainment, vital practical and health services and cheer to 250 people experiencing homelessness and food poverty. We recognise that this year more than ever, we need to show support to the most marginalised people in our communities. You can help us to fund this outreach, by donating here.

If you’d like to volunteer with us, email