Footballer Marcus Rashford has been hard to miss over the past 12 months – and not just because of his skills on the pitch! He has been pressuring the government to do more on school meals with a national campaign that has grabbed headlines and changed policy.
Now, in a new initiative, he has partnered up with top Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge to provide fifty-two quick and cheap family-friendly recipes, releasing them each week on a Sunday morning from the end of April. The scheme supports the #EndChildFoodPoverty campaign that Marcus launched last year, with the aim being to encourage young people in busy families who are living below the breadline to take up cooking. Making the recipes available online in five-minute videos on the ‘Full Time’ Instagram page, and for free in paper formats in supermarkets means everyone will have easy access.
The evident success of Marcus’ work over the past twelve months, with support from across the political spectrum, has shown how significant a need there is in the UK for reliable access to wholesome, healthy food, and the skills to prepare it. It is amazing to see this need being met in part through a young footballer’s enthusiastic and passionate response – and it surely also highlights an area of need where churches could do more to get involved.
Collectively, the Church has done a phenomenal job by creating so many food banks, saving many people from going without. Might the next step be to create and promote resources for our local communities along the lines that Marcus Rashford and Tom Kerridge are doing? Teaching youth group members to cook, and helping struggling parents make quick, simple and easy meals, are activities that many churches could readily engage in. Not every local church will have a Michelin-starred chef in-house, but surely every congregation has people who know how to put together some simple, wholesome and nutritious meals that could be shared? If you run a food bank, could part of the offering be a meal pack each week for those who want it, with a simple social media video showing how to prepare the ingredients?
We often wonder how we can reach out to our communities and serve them to open opportunities to share the gospel. Marcus and Tom may just have shown us a new one!
If you are reaching out to the needy in your community, you may be able to share these simple food budgeting tips to make their money go further!