Robbie Davison, whose organisation has provided more than 15,000 people with basic cookery skills across Merseyside, says food banks are giving out random, unhealthy food. Tony McDonough reports
Families across the UK are relying on food banks as they struggle with the crippling effects of austerity – but the founder of a Liverpool social enterprise claims food banks are doing more harm than good.
Can Cook was set up by Robbie Davison in 2007 as a food organisation working with people living in South Liverpool who didn’t have basic cookery skills. It has since expanded to provide more than 15,000 people with food training across the Liverpool city region.
In the interview with the monthly Baltic Triangle podcast, Robbie has delivered a scathing verdict on the service provided by the UK’s network of food banks.
He says the food parcels on offer are often just random collections of unhealthy tinned foods which do nothing to encourage people in food poverty to prepare healthy meals for their families. Robbie said: “What we are forcing people to do is eat this all of the time. And this is food that is we know is killing people.”
Robbie adds that the way forward is to educate both the donors of food, and the volunteers working in foodbanks, to provide food ingredients that are “recipied” and offer people in food poverty the means to prepare their own nutritious meals.
“It is just random food in, and random food out,” he said.