FalkirkFalkirk Food Connections

Community food projects: bags of fun

What an unforgettable year 2020 has been! On one hand it has been very challenging difficult and unpredictable. On the other hand it has shown us just how much good will, love and support there is  in our local communities. People have pitched in and pulled together to try to make sure that everyone had what they need, both practically and emotionally. At OTB we have supported those efforts, with our staff involved in the community response both in and out of their work role.

Community projects had definitely had to adapt and evolve and get creative with our delivery methods! In Falkirk our projects are centred around contact and connection, and lockdown and the later restrictions had made it impossible to deliver the projects in the way we planned.

Getting inventive

But as they say, necessity is the mother of invention, so we got inventive. The food connections project had moved online, with a very active Facebook page. When the restrictions relaxed enough, we tried a new approach.  Inspired by a LINKS Eyemouth project that OTB has been supporting, we decided to try out delivering recipe bags as an alternative to cookery workshops. The bags contained a recipe suggestion and all the main ingredients.  We were lucky enough to get some of the ingredients from a local social enterprise – Sustainable Thinking Scotland CIC. They grow food at a site in Bo’ness and it’s absolutely delicious! The recipe bags have been flying out the door and we’ve had lots of positive comments.

“Thank you, can’t wait to get cooking!”

“simple recipe and very tasty”

“Kids loved helping cut the veggies”

I can attest to the benefits of the project myself – as a result of trialling the recipes with my children, my eight year old son now asks to cook turnip soup on a weekly basis!

But Food Connections is about more than just food. Whilst we haven’t been able to meet in groups, we have been chatting to people when dropping off the recipe bags, and through social media. People have been posting photos and commenting on what they have made each week. Earlier in the year we held some online cooking workshops and we will hold more soon, combining them with the recipe bags.

Recipes for community connection

As an extension of the recipe bags and to try to foster more connections we are hoping to compile a community cookbook – everyone is welcome to contribute a recipe. We’re hoping for a collection of simple staples such as soups and stews, and maybe some more adventurous dishes too…