A story of food in our communities

A lot of our work focusses on food, whether that be the delicious Syrian dishes made by the women of Moments of Freedom or at our cooking classes at our LINKS project. Food has helped play a role in our work in many ways, with different communities across Scotland.  

Our work around food 

For 5 years we worked in the Borders on the Food Buddies project developing peer support for people with dementia and for carers, with a focus on aspects of food and keeping well. 

During the pandemic we heard from 53 people, mainly in our Families groups, about how important food had been to them during Lockdown. More than half said it was more important than before Lockdown. 

Last year in Moray we helped 15 community members to come together to complete a Food and Hygiene Course. Nearly all of those who attended were part of local community groups who now feel more comfortable and knowledgeable about producing food for others in a community setting.    

As part of our Borders Buddies and Garden Buddies projects, we have worked with Greener Peebles for the last few years. Last year we helped produce a recipe book full of lovely ingredients from the garden. You can download it here: Greener Peebles Recipe Book  

Greener Peebles welcome people of all ages and abilities to their volunteering sessions in the accessible community garden on a Tuesday and Friday morning. If you would like a ‘buddy’ to go along with to these or any of the sessions listed, please get in touch with Ruth: ruth.n@otbds.org.  

Last year we were invited along to the Intergenerational National Network meeting in Glasgow to talk about the Moments of Freedom project and how the women are using food to bring people together. The women’s Arabic coffee has become a big hit at their community gatherings and is much anticipated!  

At our LINKS after school club this year, we have been coming together in Eyemouth Community Centre to make healthy, yummy meals with the families. Lots of the ingredients have come from the local food larder or reduced produce from the Co-op to save them going to waste. We produced a How and what to cook in winter resource last year after families at our community cooking classes shared their top tips and favourite recipes. 

Over the last few months, we have compiled all the recipes shared with us by communities and used in our projects across Scotland into one big recipe book. There are recipes for slow cookers and air fryers, vegan and vegetarian dishes and lots of family favourites to pick from.  

You can download our Community Cook Book here: https://otbds.org/resources/community-cook-book/