Colors: Green Color
Colors: Green Color

When leading food delivery app Foodhub heard that donations to charitable causes have fallen substantially during the pandemic, bosses acted quickly to help out.

The ongoing restrictions during lockdown have forced people everywhere to tighten their purse strings over the last year, and as a result, there has been a worrying reduction in charitable donations. So Foodhub pledged to help raise vital funds for three national charities close to the company’s heart.

For every order placed via the Foodhub website/app for one month, 10p was donated to either the Trussell Trust, Make-A-Wish UK and the Macmillan Cancer Support, with Foodhub customers choosing which charity they’d like each order donation to go to. A staggering £55,000 was raised in total and distributed to the three national charities to mark the 12 month lockdown anniversary this week.

Foodhub spokesperson, Wil Chung, said: “This past year has been a tough time for everyone, especially charities, as fundraising events have been placed on hold and charities have really felt this with a big reduction in donations. So we wanted to help raise funds for these three amazing causes.

“Each of the charities chosen holds a special place in the heart of Foodhub employees, as everyone knows someone who has been affected by a terminal illness or by cancer. Food banks have also felt the pinch and have been really stretched with so many people relying on this service now more than ever, so it was vital we did what we could to help out.”

Jason Suckley, CEO of Make-A-Wish UK said: “The pandemic has dramatically affected our ability to fundraise, so we are hugely grateful to all our supporters, including Foodhub. The donation will help to grant more wishes to seriously ill children who desperately need that priceless, positive experience to cherish with their families. This generous contribution will help grant wishes of five children living with critical illnesses in the UK.” 

Executive Director of Fundraising, Marketing and Innovation at Macmillan Cancer Support, Claire Rowney, said: “We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of everyone at Foodhub and their supporters. During a global pandemic, these donations to Macmillan help ensure we are able to do whatever it takes to support people with cancer.

“Every penny raised will play a vital role in enabling us to continue to provide cancer care, fund essential services and offer the crucial support so many people with cancer rely on. Thanks to the donations of Foodhub and their customers, we’ll be able to ensure that no one faces cancer alone.”

Samantha Stapley, Chief Operations Officer at the Trussell Trust, said: “We’ve seen unprecedented numbers of people needing help from food banks as the impact of coronavirus has hit people’s incomes. This isn’t right. But thanks to the support of Foodhub, we have been able to remain agile to the fast-changing situation, ensuring food banks in our network are better equipped to provide the lifeline of emergency food to people in crisis today while we work towards a future where everyone can afford the essentials. Thank you so much.”

As the last few months have shown, a huge amount of food poverty still exists in the UK, and as lockdown restrictions continue – the Trussell Trust has to work harder than ever to support those struggling. Foodhub’s donation has helped support the network distribution of 1.2M emergency food parcels, with 2,600 parcels going to children every day between April 1 and September 30, 2020.

Recipes for ‘easy white bread’ have proven to be the most popular amongst Brits looking to hone in their baking skills during the pandemic, new data analysis reveals. 

A full-scale analysis of the UK’s bread baking habits has been conducted by SEO Agency Blueclaw, revealing the highest-rated and most popular recipes ahead of this year's Real Bread Week - beginning on 20th February.  The analysis looked at guides provided by the UK’s top recipe provider and found that other popular choices among amatuer bakers include naan bread and cheesy garlic bread. 

‘Easy’ bread recipes seemed to be most popular, as ‘bread in four easy steps’ ranked at the number four position - showing more new bakers are now looking for recipes than before. 

Surprisingly, the data also showed a nationwide shift towards vegan bread recipes, as these proved to be the most popular despite longer prep and cooking times - accounting for 35% of the site’s search volume compared to their non-vegan and vegetarian counterparts. As well as being higher rated and more popular, vegan recipes were also found to be a lot healthier than others with around a third less calories on average and just over 60% less fat.

This year’s Real Bread Week encourages Brits to support local, independent bakeries and to bake their own bread, with the aim being to focus on consuming fewer additives in 2021. In fact, this year the annual celebration could prove more prominent given that more Brits are turning their hands to baking during lockdown than ever before. 

During the first lockdown in March 2020, Google search trend data showed a massive spike in searches for ‘bread recipes’ which increased by 50%. With Brits now having nearly a year to perfect their baking skills in the boredom of lockdown, this year's Real Bread Week, beginning on 20th February, is expected to see bread recipes go through another rise in search volume.

A Greek-inspired street food company will be launching brand new restaurant Kouzina at Selfridges Birmingham once lockdown restrictions on hospitality are lifted.

From Street Kitchen Brothers, a West Midlands-based Greek-Cypriot family run business, Kouzina will be the first eatery to serve authentic Greek food at the renowned iconic department store. Once Selfridges doors reopen, shoppers will be able to indulge in Greek Mezze cuisine – including the famous moussaka (as seen on The Hairy Bikers show) souvlaki, stifado, and a range of traditional sweet treats from the Greek Bakery such as baklava and kadaifi.

The restaurant will launch with a takeaway offer until government guidelines allow for indoor hospitality, when customers will be welcomed in for all-day dining. The restaurant will seat 50 covers. The company was founded by brothers Paul Polyviou and Chris Butcher, who are regulars at The NEC, Digbeth Dining Club, BBC Good Food Show, and Lichfield Food Festival, and are keen to get back into the kitchen and feed hungry shoppers in the city centre.

Paul Polyviou and Chris Butcher, owners of Street Kitchen Brothers, stated “We’re incredibly excited to be bringing Kouzina to the Selfridges store. Opening a restaurant in Birmingham is something that we have always aspired to do and this has provided us with the perfect opportunity to take our business to the next level. We are extremely passionate about food and we do everything with our customers in mind. We’re thrilled to finally bring a taste of Greece and Cyprus to the city with our street food and taverna favourites”

Selfridges Birmingham General Manager, Sam Watts, says: “I was first introduced to Street Kitchen Brothers, my local Greek takeaway, by a friend and was hooked immediately, making my way through all the dishes on the menu. I got to know founders Chris and Paul and as testament to my love for their food, have worked with them to launch Kouzina at Selfridges Birmingham.

“We’re excited to welcome customers back to store with the addition of Kouzina and its delicious authentic Greek meze, wraps and specials. With vegan and vegetarian dishes making up half of the menu, it aligns with our sustainability commitments to offer more planet-friendly food.” Throughout the Covid-19 lockdown, Street Kitchen Brothers were able to keep customers satisfied with their unique ‘Kouzina’ Cook at Home Range and takeaway service.

The online shop has proved to be a huge success for Street Kitchen Brothers, who wanted to recreate their Grandmother’s Greek feasts from their childhoods in Greece and Cyprus, where the dinner table would be filled with memorable dishes and shared by the whole family. Now these memorable dishes will be shared by family, friends and colleagues in Birmingham’s iconic department store.

The French government has criticised Lyon's mayor after he removed meat from school lunches in the city.

Gregory Doucet, a member of the Green party, has said the move allows service to be streamlined and quickened amid coronavirus restrictions. But the government has hit back, accusing him of risking children's health.

Agriculture Minister Julien Denormandie wrote: "Let's stop putting ideology on our children's plates." In a post on Twitter he added: "Let's just give them what they need to grow well. Meat is part of it." Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said it was an "unacceptable insult" for French farmers and butchers.

"We can see that the moralising and elitist policy of the Greens excludes the popular classes. Many children often only get to eat meat at the school canteen." Mr Doucet responded by saying his right-wing predecessor as mayor introduced the same measure during the pandemic last year.

Fish and eggs remain on school menus in Lyon, and Mr Doucet said menus would be balanced for all children. Nutritionists say a vegetarian diet is safe for children, but advise taking extra care to ensure sufficient amounts of protein, iron and other minerals are included.

Lyonnaise cuisine is world renowned, with a particular emphasis on meat and offal. But there are signs of tastes changing. Sales of meat-free products are on the rise, and a 2018 law made it compulsory for schools to make one day vegetarian. A vegan restaurant recently made history in France by winning a coveted Michelin star.

Mr Doucet maintains the measure is solely as a result of the pandemic, but has been unafraid to challenge French traditions. He has previously called the Tour de France bike race "macho and polluting".

National charity Heart Research UK have launched their first charity cookbook, featuring 17 recipes from celebs, chefs and some of the web’s biggest food bloggers.

The e-book, which is available to download here for a suggested donation of £5, features a selection of well-balanced recipes from some of the best known faces in food and fitness, including Joe Wicks, The Hairy Bikers, Heart Research UK ambassador Sally Bee, Gennaro Contraldo, Michelin Star Chef Tom Kitchin, Masterchef winner Shelina Permaloo and many more.

Recipes range from light breakfasts and brunches, through to healthy snacks, show-stopping main meals and family favourites, and even a few desserts.

Dr Helen Flaherty, Head of Health Promotion and Education at Heart Research UK, said: “As someone who loves cooking and eating nutritionally balanced dishes, I know that healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring or expensive.

“We put together this cookbook to provide everyone, from families and first time cooks to the home-chef extraordinaire, a selection of recipes that are healthy, full of flavour and unpretentious.

“I often advise people on making dietary changes to reduce their risk of heart disease and manage their weight. A healthy, well-balanced diet contains plenty of fruit, vegetables and wholegrain foods and not too much fat, sugar or salt. By using this cookbook, we hope you will discover some delicious new recipes that will enable you to keep looking after your heart.”

The cookbook can be downloaded for a suggested donation of £5. All of the money raised will support Heart Research UK's life-saving work, funding pioneering research into the prevention, treatment and cure of heart disease.

Ahead of Shrove Tuesday, Severn Trent is asking customers to help avoid any sewer blockages by binning leftover food waste rather than putting it down the drain.

Severn Trent’s sewer blockages lead, Grant Mitchell, explains: “Pancake batter and leftover food can cause a real flipping problem if it’s washed down the drain. Just like fat, oil and grease (commonly known as FOG), food waste quickly hardens once it reaches the pipes and can attach to other unflushable items, such as wet wipes and sanitary products, to create a blockage or even a fatberg, which is something nobody would wish to experience.

“So rather than tossing any remaining batter and toppings down the sink, we’re encouraging people to collect any leftovers in a container and throw it in the bin once cooled and use kitchen roll to wipe down pans and plates before washing them or putting them in the dishwasher. We completely understand that disposing of FOG and other food waste can sometimes be tricky, but a couple of small changes can make a big difference when it comes to reducing the chance of a blockage.” The company clears thousands of blockages each year, with around 70% being caused by the wrong things being put down the sink and toilet.

Grant added: “Many customers may not realise that they are responsible for the waste pipe running away from their home up until it either crosses the property boundary or meets with another waste pipe or sewer. Unblocking or repairing this section of pipe can be costly, but completely avoidable if you’re careful about what you put down your toilet and sink. It doesn’t take much to cause a blockage, but by binning FOG and food waste, rather than blocking drains and sewers, customers can make sure that a blockage doesn’t crêpe up on them.”