Plans for August

I find it hard to believe that the end of this summer job is approaching so fast, but on Saturday afternoon I will be on a train wending its way back towards my new flat. As I said a few posts ago, I won’t be attending the Vegan Venture course this year unless somoene drops out, so instead I have made new plans and will be attending two cooking classes over the next two months: one on cooking vegetables, and one on cooking beans and pulses. The classes are based fairly locally and they’re very reasonably-priced, which surprised me somewhat to be honest! I think they’ll both give me some of the confidence I need to start branching out into a more vegan lifestyle.

I have also located my local food bank, and will be making a trip there as soon as I’ve amassed some more non-perishable items to donate. My own financial situation is limited but reliable; I may not be hugely affluent but I can fairly confidently say that my income will exceed my expenditure for the next three years as long as I’m sensible. I won’t struggle to feed myself. Having that luxury means I have a duty to assist those who don’t: people, normally families, living precariously and reliant on the welfare support that is rapidly vanishing in this country. People whose circumstances have not been as favourable as mine. I don’t want food banks to be necessary, but for as long as they are I will support them.

Now that I’ll be living alone, and a convenient Food Bank box will no longer appear in my kitchen at the end of each academic term for left-over tins and unopened packets, I need to make a bit more effort but reading Jack Monroe’s blog post today reminded me to take the first step of that effort and find my nearest drop-off point. This time next week, I’ll take the second step and double up on my weekly shop. I might even set myself a goal: buy two of everything for the price of one, simply by swapping out branded products for the value range. Living below the line showed me that there’s no need to pay twice as much for the same product.

That being said, another thing I’m planning to do next week is visit a local health food shop which has recently started doing weekly deliveries of fruit and veg boxes. If the quality seems good and the quantity is right, I will sign myself up for a weekly box. It might not be the cheapest way to buy produce, but the reality is that I simply don’t bother buying as much fruit and veg as I should. Having it arrive at my door each week will, in combination with my newly-acquired vegetable cooking skills after next week’s class, hopefully spur me into actually cooking and eating the things!

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6 thoughts on “Plans for August

  1. I think the easiest way to remember to buy food for the food bank is to pick a week each month (say, the 1st weekly shop of the month) to double up on your weekly shop. Another way would be to have a fixed amount of money to spend for the food bank per week/month. You could also keep your own little box in the kitchen to collect the items to donate.

    PS ā€“ I stumbled upon this vegetarian/vegan site yesterday (http://www.vegetarianrecipeclub.org.uk/), and thought of your cooking endeavours. Iā€™m probably sharing something you already know about, but I thought Iā€™d tell you anyway.

    • I hadn’t heard of that, thank you for linking it! I haven’t decided which approach I’m taking but definitely having a box for the items is a good idea. It’ll force me to take them to the food bank before there are too many things to fit in my bike basket, for a start!

  2. Great blog! I volunteer with a local food bank and it annoys me that people in power (with plenty and no need to worry about filling their bellies) seem happy for food banks to pick up the pieces as society crumbles. It’s often old folk on pensions, people like yourself who don’t have a huge amount, who give sacrificially to help those most in need. Bless you for your kindness!

    • I agree with you, and sometimes I worry that if food banks are too successful at picking up the pieces, the government won’t bother. But that isn’t a good enough reason not to support them, because it’s not the politicians who suffer if there isn’t food. I suppose we have to fight in both directions.

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