Masterchef unveils New Community Cook School to tackle Poverty hunger


WINNER of Masterchef 2016 has launched today a new cookery school to help deal with poverty in Glasgow by carrying out a masterclass in cooking.

Gary Maclean led a two hour long cooking workshop alongside community volunteers and Glasgow City Council’s Depute Leader, David McDonald.

The initiative was set-up by Glasgow based Minister after experiencing poverty first hand and deprivation in the community of Pollok.

Reverend Dave Murray launched the community cookery classes in a purpose-built kitchen on the grounds of Pollok Baptist Church to help tackle food poverty in the area.

The ‘Kook School’ programme was launched to deal with the issue of food poverty.

Scotland’s National Chef Gary Maclean demonstrating with Zoe McFarlane mage supplied

In a bid to overcome the issue, Reverend Murray and a number of community volunteers have spent the last 18 months designing and fitting out a portacabin on the grounds of the church into five fully equipped, state of the art cooking pods, with the aim of helping low-income families make the most of their food resources.

Partnerships with Tesco and Waitrose will see the supermarket giants’ surplus food used for ingredients, and a two-year sponsorship from building firm Dickie and Moore Ltd., will allow the Kook School to produce an estimated 2,500 meals per quarter for residents in need.

Reverend Dave Murray from Pollok Baptist Church said: “The Kook School allows us to engage with real life issues that affect the people of Pollok, whilst providing people of all backgrounds the opportunity to learn how to cook, engage socially and challenge oppression and injustices like food poverty and foodbanks.

“By educating our community in the art of cooking wholesome, nutritious food on a budget, we can offer a solution to food poverty whilst inspiring the youth of today to cook and release their potential. We hope to create a cooking experience that allows others to cook together, eat together and share life experiences.”

Gary Maclean with locals Zoe McFarlane and Dawn Peart

Glasgow City Council’s Depute Leader, Councillor David McDonald added: “All across the city we have seen communities come together to face the challenges of growing austerity.  Kook School is the latest example, and I’m proud to see it launched to help those most in need in Greater Pollok.

“There is great pride and strength within our community but sometimes we all need an extra bit of support or a helping hand. Having the support of the Kook School and its volunteers will not only help alleviate the impact of food poverty but will build new relationships within the community, helping to improve people’s sense of belonging and wellbeing. I look forward to seeing the positive impact that the Kook School can cook up in the coming years.”