Gousto partners with food bank in response to cost of living crisis

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Gousto is working to make food parcels heavier
Gousto is working to make food parcels heavier

Related tags: Supply chain

Gousto, the recipe box firm, is working with one of the UK’s busiest food banks and local government on a “groundbreaking” pilot to make food parcels healthier.

This comes as it has been reported that food inflation is expected to hit 20%. 

The Bank of England has also said that inflation is expected to rise more than forecast from 9.4% in June to just over 13% in 2022 Q4. In response the bank has raised interest rates again from 1.25% to 1.75% to battle rising prices. It said it expects the economy to shrink in the final three months of this year and keep shrinking until the end of 2023. 

The foodbank, which in the Trussell Trust network, has seen the need for food banks skyrocket due to the cost of living crisis. It revealed a 29% increase in the number of emergency food parcels distributed by food banks in the Trussell Trust network in April and May 2021 vs the same period in 2022. 

Current food parcels are designed for people in occasional crisis, and parcels consist of NHS approved foods such as essential long-life goods including tinned beans, tinned spaghetti, soups and cereal.  However, the Hammersmith and Fulham Foodbank is finding that up to a third of their food is going to people who are returning at least once a month. 

Vegetarian recipes

The recipes for the pilot involve breakfast, lunch and dinners for a week and will be delivered weekly by the Hammersmith and Fulham Foodbank volunteers over 12 weeks. The recipes created by Gousto are vegetarian and include the Cheesy Black Bean Chilli, Three-Veg Miso & Sesame Ramen With Egg and Simple One-Pot Puttanesca.

Funded by the local council and Gousto, the pilot will take place over 12 weeks in Hammersmith and Fulham, kicking off in the summer holidays. 

With three-quarters of food bank users reporting at least one health issue, (The Trussell Trust State of Hunger report), the research conducted by the council and supported by Imperial College London Self-Care Research Unit (SCARU) will assess the mental health and wellbeing benefits of the upgraded food parcels and accessible home cooking, along with physical and social impacts.

The ambition is that the learnings will help inform the approach of emergency food providers across the country. 

Health of the nation

Gousto chief executive and Founder Timo Boldt said: “Using our expertise in creating healthy and balanced mealtimes, we hope to have a real impact on the health of the nation starting with this groundbreaking pilot.” 

He added: “We’re proud to work with the Hammersmith and Fulham Foodbank, part of the Trussell Trust network, and help provide immediate support for the community in and around our London HQ. We believe in the power of nutritious home cooking to boost health and wellbeing, and we can’t wait to see how this pilot informs future strategies for food banks."

Phil Storey, ceo of Hammersmith and Fulham Foodbank, said: “We don’t think it’s right that the food bank needs to exist. We are passionate about tackling the issues that drive people to have to use a food bank. We want to ensure that people are able to access support which will help them afford the essentials in life. We know that providing emergency food is not the answer that will end the need for food banks, but we hope that this exciting pilot with Gousto will help inform our approach to improving the support we provide for people facing hardship.” 

Cllr Ben Coleman, Deputy Leader of Hammersmith & Fulham council said: “The council is proud to be co-funding this study as part of our commitment to ensuring that no resident goes hungry and every resident can eat healthily.”

Recently it was revealed that Gousto is to move to a £40m bespoke​, chilled fulfilment centre at St. Modwen Park, Burton, Staffordshire.


Related topics: Supply Chain, Chilled foods

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