CEGIN PRYDIAU PLANT - JIG SO
“Shopping bill reduced - even though buying fresh, freezing more and bulk cooking.” Participant of Cegin Prydiau Plant project.
The purpose of the Cegin Prydiau Plant project was to provide support and access to meals for families living in areas of poverty and deprivation during children holiday periods, by providing families with weekly training provision in cooking nutritional meals on a budget.
Due to financial pressures during periods when free school meals are unavailable many families are purchasing cheap, processed foods and relying on crisps, biscuits and sweets to subsidise their children’s diets. The aim was to provide parents/carers and their children living in an area identified as economically deprived with the skills to; Make informed choices regarding providing nutritionally balanced meals for their families, provide opportunities for parents/carers and their children to develop food preparation and cookery skills, and source and buy food and ingredients knowledgeably and within a budget.
The project has increased participants’ knowledge of nutrition and a balanced diet, changed participants’ confidence in shopping, budgeting and preparing food, increased participants engagement in, and enjoyment of food preparation and cooking and changed participants’ habits regarding food and cooking.
As part of the process ‘Cegin Prydiau Plant’ offered a series of 10 sessions for eligible parents/children.
Project activities included:
- Using a local kitchen in Cardigan to prepare healthy meals for families
- 10 weekly training programme to learn the basic cooking skills and how to prepare healthy meals on a budget with two trained instructors
- Two pilot workshops with 11-16year olds on healthy cooking – this included many young carers
- Parents with younger children and babies were able to use the Jig-So crèche facilities whilst participating in the project
- Working with the Cardigan Food Bank and Cardigan Allotments encouraging and supporting parents to grow vegetables.
The ‘Cegin Prydiau Plant’ project has been a positive experience for individuals and their families. The results of the project's existence indicated that the majority of participants’ confidence in shopping, budgeting and preparing meals for the family increased.
The benefits, growth and personal development of the participants were exceptional. One participant now has the confidence to cook meals from scratch following the 10 week programme, “I now mostly use fresh home-made food from scratch, much tastier and I know what’s in the meal”.
Before the project began it was evident that one of the parental concerns was putting meals on the table for their children due to financial difficulties. Post course the participants were now well informed on how to cook healthier meals from scratch and on a budget. One mothers’ feedback from the project on how to prepare freshly made meals on a budget was “a bag of spuds is way cheaper than buying frozen chips, and healthier, I now only use a little bit of oil to cook them”.
From the nature of the project, the results of its results will continue to be seen as the individuals who attended will continue to use the skills acquired. “Before, I’d always buy ready-made cheese sauces and different bits. I’d always buy only the sauces because I wasn’t a hundred percent – and curry sauces – but now I know how to do them from scratch, and they’re quite easy when you know how”.
The project has also provided the opportunity for families to continue to source nutritional food through them although the series of cooking sessions have come to an end. By monitoring the take-up of the free meals/ingredients available to former participants this will help the project to identify whether this aspect of the project is fully utilised, and the possibility of extending the project to neighbouring counties.
Overall, over 60 families benefitted the project and over 5600 meals were prepared. ‘Cegin Prydiau Plant’ has been a resounding success with a number of parents noting that on top of saving money and learning how to cook a nourishing meal ready to eat in the evening, it meant that they could also spend more ‘quality time with my children without worrying about what we’re going to eat tonight’.
For further information on Jig-So and to read the full report and outcome of the project then click here.
To view the case study click here.
This project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.