In recent weeks the Manchester Central Foodbank has started to give out modified food parcels to clients coming through our doors. These new packs are called "kettle packs" and all the food in them can be cooked with the use of a hob or cooker. An example of this would be replacing pasta with instant noodles.
The clients who we have had to adjust our food parcels are all women who live in shared supported accommodation. These accommodation buildings are for vulnerable women with a large number being ex-convicts. They are very poorly furnished and tend to have only one kitchen set for up to twenty people. Because of this we were asked to modify packs to help everyone cook with their limited facilities.
Coincidentally, this trend at our foodbank has begun as both the Trussell Trust and the Guardian have highlighted it in the national media. They have shown that kettle packs are being requested for different reasons by low income families. Up until now, the increasingly high energy costs have left many having to choose between heating and eating. Now, however, some families are not even able to turn on the cooker to heat contents of the food parcel. This trend has not been seen by our volunteers, but it is important we begin preparing for the possibility of more clients falling into this terrible situation.