Two Oxford Brookes University students are turning their hands to helping elderly residents of one Oxford estate learn to cook nutritious food on a budget following a similar class they held recently for moms and children to achieve the same with resounding success.
The cookery classes will be held once a week for the pensioners who are not only stuck for ideas due to lack of local choice but are feeling the pinch in their purses for the exact same reason.
Monika Kozlak and Julie Hayes, studying nutrition and business at the local university, are not just putting together a cookery course that their curriculum dictates they ought, either. Their cookery class has a real community spirit feel to it.
Once a week the elderly residents of Alice and Margaret House hold a coffee morning. Next Tuesday, 28th Feb, the two students will pop along to discuss the residents likes and dislikes in order to put together the cookery course on a shoestring as many locals are extremely concerned that their pensions, given the adversity they face to get to a supermarket of any renown, do not stretch to a healthy budget.
Cooking healthily is not so easy on a budget
This scenario is so prevalent that the Rose Hill residents, the estate in question, recently rallied around for one senior couple to aid their application for debt relief after they ran up bills of £8,000.
A local Rose Hill and Donnington Advice Centre spokeswoman, Carol Roberts, echoed the pensioners’ plight, underlining how tempting it is for them to nip to the shops to get out once a day with the adverse affect of impinging upon their budgets.
This way of thinking is one of the aspects Julia and Monika hope to change, encouraging a bulk-food shop rather than fresh produce bought daily. To run alongside that is the cookery course; many of the widowers have not truly grasped the concept of cooking at all, let alone on a budget, since their wives have passed away.
Details have yet to be finalised and will hopefully be concluded following next week’s tête-à-tête with the residents. If things go to plan, the communal kitchens will be the venue for the cookery classes at the nearby Desborough Crescent sheltered accommodation flats. Sainsburys will provide the ingredients from its local Heyford Hill store, although, long-term you’d maybe proffer cheaper alternatives, if they’re truly serious about saving, drawing upon other chains’ value/store brands to fill their larders and pantries.
If you want to see the type of things the girls will be considering for the cookery courses, they’re holding a demo tomorrow (Fri 24th) at The Oval, courtesy of The Health Bus.