Bags of Taste for Those Living in Poverty

A non-profit is helping people across Thanet to make better food choices

Non-profit Bags of Taste know the challenges faced by those living in poverty to make better food choices and purchase affordable fresh produce. They offer a Mentored Home Cooking course for vulnerable adults so that people who are living in poverty can be supported to alter the way they buy, prepare, and eat food either on their own or living as a family. The course participants are provided with nine recipes and food for seven meals which  they cook over a few weeks and discover what works for them and their families. They then receive a pack of nine further recipes designed to build on the techniques that they have already learnt and a shopping guide to help them source their food at the lowest possible price.

Alicia Weston, Bags of Taste, said, “The pandemic and food price inflation has disproportionately affected those in poverty, whose struggles to eat well means that they get sicker and die younger than their richer counterparts.  But eating well is about much more than knowing how to cook.  It’s about lots of other things like the cost of ingredients, having equipment, and the motivation, time, and head space to cook.  80% of the people we work with rate their cooking skills as average to good, yet they are spending almost £900 a year on unhealthy ready meals and takeaways.  Bags of Taste’s Mentored Home Cooking course gives people the support they need to overcome these barriers and move away from unhealthy processed food to cooking regularly for themselves and their families. This improves their families’ finances, health and wellbeing.”

Course attendees are generally disadvantaged, and many have multiple and complex challenges including mental health, learning disabilities, long term health conditions or illness, or are carers.”

One attendee said, “The course has helped me to get my mojo back! I had got out of the habit of cooking for myself now that I live on my own and some night’s I just had cereal or a sandwich. I am back in the swing of cooking and eating healthily. I know I will save money and hopefully this will be enough to cover my rent increase. The list of local shops was really helpful, as I knew about some of them, but not all, so I will definitely check them out.”

Bags of Taste received £5000 from Kent Community Foundation to support their project.

Josephine McCartney, Kent Community Foundation, said, “The grant application from Bags of Taste was compelling. Thanet is the most deprived local authority in Kent, where a third of children live below the poverty line.  We were keen to support this initiative  as we know that food banks can’t be the long-term solution, and this offered a tangible way to prepare families for a healthier future.”

To talk to Kent Community Foundation about funding for your project  call, 01303 814500 or visit

About Bags of Taste

Bags of Taste provides a free mentored home cooking course in Margate, Cliftonville, Ramsgate, Birchington, Broadstairs and Westgate on Sea.  Course participants receive ingredients and materials, sufficient for 7 meals and support from the Bags of Taste team via phone, email, WhatsApp, or Facebook Messenger to help them make better food choices.

About Kent Community Foundation

Grant-maker Kent Community Foundation has been finding, funding, and supporting some of the smallest voluntary organisations in the county for twenty years. In this time, it has distributed over £50 million to support thousands of small charities and deserving causes where a modest sum of money can make a significant impact.

They are part of a UK wide accredited network of forty-seven Community Foundations who are committed to improving the lives of local people and communities, particularly the most vulnerable, isolated, and disadvantaged by matching those who want to help, with those who need the help.

Responsible for more than eighty philanthropic funds, Kent Community Foundation is unrivalled in its knowledge of local causes and assists individuals, families, and businesses, who want to help, to establish and administer their own charitable funds.