New challenge to get Wirral families cooking together this summer

Wirral families are being encouraged to roll up their sleeves and get involved in a summer challenge that aims to bring households together to learn new cooking skills.

The Great Family Cook-Off will provide an enjoyable and engaging activity to do over the long summer break and offers those taking part the chance to learn some new life skills.

As well as learning about food hygiene, preparation and nutrition, the project will encourage participants to consider meal planning, storage, and how to make their food budget go further.

Participants will receive Food Boxes containing recipe cards and all the ingredients needed to make five different family meals together.

Families will also be able to pick up some tips by watching short videos of the same dishes being prepared by others and will have the chance to win some fantastic prizes by sharing their own photos and videos clips of them preparing and enjoying their meals together. The prizes include family tickets to this year’s panto at the Floral Pavilion, Beauty & The Beast, and to the 2022 Wirral Food & Drink Festival in Birkenhead Park*.

The Summer Cook-Off Challenge is being coordinated on behalf of the Council by Birkenhead based charity Neo Community and is expected to support up to 4000 local families. It is part of a package of support that has been made possible following an award of £1.153 million from the Department for Work and Pensions for an extension to Wirral’s Covid Local Support Grant. 

Wirral Council’s assistant director for Neighbourhoods, Safety and Transport and Humanitarian Cell lead, Mark Camborne, said,

The Summer Cook-Off Challenge will bring children and families together to learn new cooking skills in an interesting and entertaining way, while also showing how to stretch the food budget to provide interesting and nutritious meals. I’m confident that it will provide a positive and sustainable legacy as well as addressing some immediate welfare needs.


Although all families can take part, those currently facing financial challenges, including a loss of income, low income, issues with benefits or budgeting difficulties, will be supported with Food Boxes.

Those wishing to take part, but able to supply their own food, are asked to use the hashtag #WIRRALGFC21 on Facebook and Twitter, where they will be able to view the recipes, demonstration videos and the photos and video clips shared by others taking part. 

Depending on demand, families will receive between two and four Food Boxes, which will be provided from 9 August up until the end of September. Those needing particular food for dietary, religious or cultural reasons, can request a Food Box that meets their requirements.

The CEO of Neo Community, Ema Wilkes, said,

The Pandemic has been tough for children and families in so many ways, so we really hope that the Cook-Off Challenge will inspire people to get involved and have a go at something new and enjoyable, together.

I am confident that some of the new skills, including how to eat well while making the food budget go further, will last well beyond the summer and stay with everyone taking part for a long time to come.

Wirral residents can apply for a Food Box by completing this short online form: https://forms.gle/BLww7FDd66kaJY5D7        

 Please note: *Winners will be chosen by project organisers, whose decision is final.

Image credit: Kampus Production

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