Since 2017 Edinburgh Community Food has partnered with the City of Edinburgh Council (CEC) and others (such as storytellers, musicians and the Royal Observatory) to deliver Discover!, the CEC-led programme to tackle holiday hunger food. Every school holiday and half term we provide food and run food activities and cooking sessions with healthy eating input for referred children and families.

During the pandemic we created an adapted online version of Discover!, which first ran with great success.  Since then up to 500 families have received boxes of fresh produce, long life goods, cooking equipment, recipes, masses of health information and information from our partners weekly during holiday periods. We also include lots of ‘added extras’ such as: seeds and growing activities, children’s books, activity packs, Active Schools sports packs, ‘treats’ for children (e.g. sets of matching lunchboxes, placemats & drinks cups) and the occasional  food ‘treat’ (e.g. fortune cookies and chocolate). Families join a closed FaceBook group where they access live videos (nutrition input, baking demonstrations, story-telling, dance, music, star gazing and crafts), share tips and photos of dishes made and children’s creative activities, comment, support each other and take part in a novel online community.

More recently we have been able to return to in-person cooking and food activities as well as continuing the food and activity box deliveries and online content.

Feedback from Discover! has been wonderful and humbling.

 

Example of food box contents

"The food boxes were amazing. I was surprised the content surpassed my expectations and made

everything so easy. I had to shield myself and my son during lockdown and getting out and

about isn’t always easy anyway so having everything we needed to participate was the most

thoughtful thing anyone could do for us. I’m emotional as I type this as everything was

incredible and we appreciated it very much."

 

95% of families say Discover! has saved them money and 90% of parents experienced improved relationships with their children.

Jo and Chris delivering baking demonstration on Facebook Live!

 

"Gave us a focus during the day which we otherwise wouldn’t have, cooked together, exercised

together and I know that wouldn’t have happened without this as we scheduled our days

around this. Helped me massively with my anxiety of having the kids all holidays so thank you."

Watch how the team pack hundreds of boxes for delivery to families, preparing over 450 boxes. If only it was this fast!

Discover Survey Family Responses

  • 95% enjoy the cooking and baking the most from all activities
  • 95% took part in the cooking sessions
  • 91% saved money on food
  • 90% report a better relationship with children over summer
  • 82% Enjoyed the fresh nutritious food
  • 81% improved emotional health and well-being
  • 70% more connected to community
  • 62% more connected to other families

"Apart from not meeting with all the wonderful Discover staff, this is so far the best Discover experience we have had in the 18 months we have been attending.  Thank you all so much for all the effort you are putting in for us to keep the children and adults motivated"

During the summer 2022 programme, STV News came to see the activity hub at Craigentinny in full swing. Some of the families attending told STV why these hubs are so valuable to them. At 1 minute 11 seconds we hear from Edinburgh Community Food Senior Food & Development Officer, Chris Mantle who highlighted the importance of programmes like Discover! and engagement with food at a young age 🥕👩🏾‍🍳😋

Watch the clip below: