Slow cooker scheme to provide meals for struggling families

NEEDY families are being provided with slow cookers to help them prepare nutritious meals by an initiative set up by a couple from Horsell.

John and Janet Thurston came up with the idea after finding out about a similar scheme in Suffolk.

John Thurston with the first three slow cookers that are being given to needy families

“I have many contacts though Linked-In and one of them, Ann Osborn, told me about her work that has links with local cafes and helps about 500 local people,” said John.

“I then found there are similar charity initiatives in eight different counties,” he said.

“As a result of the pandemic, many people have suffered financially. Shortened working hours and redundancies have all taken their toll on families, many of whom struggled to make ends meet before COVID hit us.

“The idea behind the slow cookers initiative is that families who are struggling in these tough times will use them to cook inexpensive nutritious food. This uses a very small amount of energy and keeps costs to a minimum.

Slow cookers use small amounts of electricity and are good for cooking cheaper cuts of meat

“Cheaper cuts of meat and any vegetables can be used to make delicious, tasty, meals.”

John said slow cookers also help to reduce food waste and are good to use in summer as, unlike ovens, they do not heat up the kitchen.

John, who has previously worked for charities, is running the scheme with Janet and they have made contact with Woking Foodbank to help distribute the cookers.

They are looking to raise £500 to buy at least 25 cookers. They might also provide recipe bags, which contain ingredients and the instructions about cooking them.

John said the initiative is being kept small to see how successful it is and might then be passed on to a charity or other non-profit organisation to run on a bigger scale.

He and Janet have already raised £100, from which they were able to buy their first three slow cookers that were being offered at a discount.

For more information and to donate, visit and find The Slow Cooker Project, using Woking as the location.

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