Sunday, September 19, 2021
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SERC students share food skills

Hospitality, Catering & Media students from South Eastern Regional College (SERC), in collaboration with Ards & North Down Borough Council (ANDBC), have produced a collection of low-cost family favourite recipes with supporting demonstration videos aimed at helping local people on low incomes and tight budgets to prepare nutritious family meals.

The Food Education Programme stemmed from work with volunteers at the Lisburn, Bangor and Downpatrick food banks, who recognised that some clients, who lacked basic cookery skills, were struggling to make their food supplies go far enough and were even returning food which they didn’t know how to cook.

Paul Mercer, Deputy Head of School for Hospitality and Catering, said: “We were approached by the team at ANDBC to deliver the Food Education Programme, supported through the Covid-19 Recovery Fund, with the aim of addressing financial hardship in the community.

“The main purpose of the programme was to provide short educational videos that will enable people to produce low cost meals to feed the whole family at home.”
Paul added: “Our students were tasked with creating varied and nutritious ‘recipe cards’ which would be included in food donations.

“A selection of the recipes was developed into easy-to-follow cookery demonstration videos which incorporate practical advice on food hygiene, budgeting, nutrition and how to reduce food waste which will be shared with local foodbanks and community organisations.”

Paul concluded: “The project has provided an excellent opportunity for the students to feature in the videos, demonstrate their talents, develop their confidence, as well as other transversal skills such as problem solving, working with others, self-management and work professionalism.”

Mayor Trevor Cummings said: “Ards and North Down Borough Council was delighted to support SERC’s Food Education Programme through the Covid Recovery Fund; a fund that was provided by the Department for Communities and administered by the council.

“It was established to assist in the recovery from the pandemic by helping the community run projects with three key objectives – connectivity, financial and food poverty – and I think the students and staff at SERC did a fabulous job with their programme.”

The videos are available to view on SERC’s YouTube Channel.

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