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How one social enterprise is supporting their community's approach to healthy eating

News | Published  23 January 2023

Bread n Butter is a Barnet-based social enterprise that teaches the basic life skills of cooking and sustainable, healthy, independent living. We spoke to them about how the cost of living crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic have changed their approach to working in their community and the positive impact that healthy eating can have.

Tell us about Bread n Butter!

At Bread n Butter, we promote health and wellbeing through a holistic mix of activities (free workshops in schools and the wider community, recipe meal kits, online cook-a-long sessions and community events). We work across the boroughs of Barnet, Enfield, Brent and Barking and Dagenham, giving people of all ages the skills, knowledge and confidence to live healthier, happier lives. Through the simple act of preparing food, cooking and eating together, the people we work with feel motivated and more in control of their own wellbeing. 

How did the pandemic affect your organisation and community? 

Since the onset of the pandemic our services have been in huge demand. During the pandemic we were unable to deliver our classes and workshops face to face, so we supported our communities by cooking and delivering meals to those that were struggling or self isolating. We also delivered our recipe meal kits to all our volunteers to hand out to those in need. They include an easy-to-follow recipe and all the ingredients to cook a healthy meal for a family of four. These were very popular and demand has actually increased since, so we  continue to provide these. 


Have you seen more changes due to the increase in the cost of living?

Now the cost of living crisis is only making things worse for a lot of people; community organisations like ours are needed now more than ever. The local food banks that we support are telling us that they are seeing more and more people each week. We have also seen a huge rise in people feeling isolated and suffering with mental and physical health issues since the pandemic.

Now more than ever, people are seeking out ways to reduce their food bills and make their meals go further. We are now giving advice on energy efficient cooking and coming up with recipes that are low budget as well as energy efficient.

Why are you focusing on pulses?

Pulses are not only very economical but they have great health benefits as they are packed full of fibre, B vitamins and a great source of protein. They are a versatile way to bulk up stews, soups, pasta sauces, curries, salads, and tagines. If people aren’t used to eating pulses then a great way to introduce them to your diet is to substitute half the meat in a recipe with a cup of lentils or beans, for example in a curry or bolognese sauce.


What are your favourite recipes?

We have collected so many recipes over the years. I think a staple for us is definitely our Githeri bean stew which originates from the Kikuyu tribe of Kenya and was suggested by one of our Kenyan participants in a cooking class. 

Find out more about Bread n Butter:

You can go on our website: or follow us on Instagram/twitter/facebook:@breadnbuttercic to find out what we are doing