Four groups of students at Forth Valley College are helping students improve their finances by taking part in the third annual Bank of Scotland’s Money for Life Challenge.
The project encourages students in Further Education, work-based learning and community learning sectors across the Scotland to run money management projects in their local communities.
Trainee chefs at Forth Valley College used food bank ingredients to serve a three course lunch for 60 people – for just £1per person - at the Stirling Campus Gallery Training Restaurant.
The culinary experiment which took place on Tuesday 11 February was the brainchild of the Eco-Chef group - all City and Guilds Professional Cookery Level 2 students – who came up with the idea of putting simple recipes into food boxes as part of the Bank of Scotland’s Money for Life Challenge.
Their aim is to create an innovative project that develops money management skills in their local community and they certainly managed to spread the word with a delicious spread for dozens of local people.
Forth Valley College Learner Development Worker in Core Skills, Mary McEwan, said: “They were expecting to cater for 40 people, but they were overwhelmed with requests to attend the lunch and managed to make room for 60 covers on the day! It has been a great success and they have all worked so hard to raise awareness of their idea – all of them even worked on their days off to make it happen.
“They are trying to provide people who receive food parcels with some good advice, tips and recipes to create some decent meals with basic ingredients. They have even created a Facebook page called Team Eco-chef, which will show all their recipes and tips.”
Diners were asked for a £2 donation on the day for the lunch and any excess money raised will go to Start-up Stirling Charity who hope to help up to 70 individual families per week in the Stirling area alone, as well as other individuals and families who are moving into their own tenancies or who are in temporary accommodation.
Elaine Cuthill an Access and Progression lecturer at Forth Valley College volunteers for Start-up Stirling. She also encourages her Workstart students to run and maintain a Donation Station in the main reception of the Stirling campus to collect food, household goods and toiletries which are then donated to Start-Up Stirling.
Speaking at the lunch she said: “When we met with students from the Eco Chef team we were overwhelmed by their enthusiasm, commitment and understanding of the work of Start-Up Stirling. Their idea to provide self-help recipe books for the food bank users was inspiring and will help people make the most of the contents of the food packs.
“The lunch at the event was fantastic and the team should be congratulated on their hard work. I wish them every success in the Money for Life Challenge and on behalf of Start Up Stirling I would like to thank all the students involved in this project!”
Student Mhari Campbell, of Eco Chef, said: “It’s amazing that we’ve secured the £500 grant for our project. We really want to show how food can be used efficiently, and with the grant we will be able to help make a difference in our local community. We’ve planned the next steps of our project very carefully and we are going to do our best to secure a place at the UK Grand Final next year.”