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Food Wise
A Christian based charity delivering food provision, training and education to local communities
By Rebecca Whale on 04/01/17 | Category - General

Rebecca Whale, our new Partnership Manager introduces herself.

Partnership ManagerHi, I’m Becky and I am delighted to have joined the FoodWise team. I’ve spent a lot of the last 20 years working in politics, local government and charities, so I’ve always been keen to do what I can to help others, and that’s what drew me to FoodWise.

As a mother of two young children, it troubles me that others of their age are living in hunger. Recent statistics from the End Child Poverty Campaign reveal that in some areas of Woking and Guildford child poverty levels are as high as 34%. In an otherwise affluent part of the UK, the voices of those suffering food poverty and hunger on a daily basis need to be heard and action taken.

FoodWise’s mission is to get into these areas, offering practical support and help that gives local people the cooking and budgeting skills to make a difference to their lives and those of their family.


In my first month I’ve been out talking to Food Banks, schools, local community workers, homeless projects and housing associations, getting to grips with the need and working out how best our Food Coaches can help.

We already have some great partnerships, with The Lighthouse in Woking and with Woking Borough Council, to mention just a couple, and I look forward to building many more in 2017.

By Linda Aston on 11/10/16 | Category - Events

Living Well Week

Living Well Week is a community wide event, organised by Woking Borough Council. Open to everyone, the week is designed to encourage people to make small changes in lifestyle habits that can have a positive impact on future health and wellbeing.

As part of Living Well Week, Foodwise will be running a free introductory cookery session at The Lighthouse, between 1pm and 3pm on Monday 17th October.

Participants will be invited to sign-up for a five-week course starting Monday 31 October, 1pm, in the kitchens at the H.G. Wells Conference and Events Centre.

Unhealthy lifestyles & behaviours causing early death

Around 40% of all deaths in the UK are caused by unhealthy lifestyles and behaviours. According to a Lancet study Britain's obesity levels are the second worst in Europe, with six in ten adults obese. Poor diet is fuelling diseases such as type two diabetes, with a 60 per cent rise in cases over the past decade, and obesity is on course to overtake smoking as the leading cause of cancer.

The good news is it’s never too late to make a change, and even a small change can make a big difference to our wellbeing. Living healthily in midlife can double your chances of being healthy at 70 and beyond. Living Well Week is a chance to take time out to focus on our health, to reappraise our lifestyles and to get help where needed.

For full details of what's on during Living Well Week, please download the brochure.


By Grace Luke on 14/09/16 | Category - Food

The kids have been back at school for a week already! If they don't have school dinners now's the time to double check that you are sending them off with a healthy packed lunch.

Healthy Packed Lunch










Eating a healthy balanced diet is important to every child’s growth and development. Having a varied diet will help your child to eat more healthily. Here are some ideas to help you encourage your child/children to eat a healthy lunch. Why not get them to help you prepare it – children love to get involved and are more likely to eat something that they have been involved in preparing.

A healthy packed lunch should include:-
  1. A portion of starchy food such as white or wholemeal bread, pitta, wrap, rice, pasta, couscous.
  2. A portion of protein such as sliced meat, fish, egg, or meat alterantives:- pulses, beans or chickpeas
  3. A portion of fruit such as apple, pear, grapes, melon, satsuma, strawberries etc, and a portion of vegetables such as carrot, celery, pepper or cucumber sticks. Peas, sweetcorn, grated carrot in sandwiched or salads.
  4. A portion of dairy such as yoghurt or cheese.
  5. A drink. Water or milk is the most healthy option

Winning menus

Here are a few tasty ideas to ring the changes with your child's packed lunch or visit Change4Life web site for loads more.

  • Pitta pocket (you can now buy pitta squares – even easier to fill!) Fill with cheese, ham and cucumber, tuna and sweetcorn
  • Bagel – cream cheese or tuna make a great filling for bagels
  • Houmous with veg sticks – carrot, celery, cucmber, sweet peppers, baby corn
  • Cheese dip – with veg sticks or bread sticks
  • Pasta salad – add chopped cooked chicken, ham or some tuna to some pasta, stir in some veg (peas or green beans, sweetcorn, chopped cucumber, chopped peppers and mix together with mayonnaise or some tomato sauce. A great way to use up leftovers
  • Couscous – add cooked meat or tuna and some vegetables
  • Frittata – Frittata is a great way to use up whatever veg you have in the fridge and makes a lovely meal hot or cold. Although the recipe below has peppers and peas in I often use green beans, sweetcorn, courgette, broccoli (anything works – just give it a try!!) You could even put in a handful of grated cheese. Click for Recipe

Researchers from the University of Leeds have found that just one in five packed lunches (for primary aged children) contain a vegetable or any salad, and just 1.6% meet current nutritional standards. Although it may take a while for your children to get used to a healthier lunchbox, it will be worth it for their health - so keep trying even if you have to start with small changes at first.

By Grace Luke on 26/07/16 | Category - FoodWise Tips

In order to eat well you have to shop well. Grace Luke shares her top tips for developing good shopping habits.

Food Shopping 










It's easy to get tempted into buying on impulse. Shops are highly skilled at attracting you to things you can manage without. I suggest six things to reduce the temptation factor.

1. Plan Ahead

Take some time to think about the week ahead – what are you doing each day? Which days will be too busy to cook? Choose a less busy day to bulk cook – make a bolognaise sauce, eat some that day and make a lasagne with the rest to put in the fridge or freezer for your busier day.

2. Make a List

When you’ve decided on your weekly menu write a shopping list – this will help you to buy only what you need. You will be surprised how much money you will save if you stick to your list!

3. Shop on a Full Stomach

Don’t go shopping when you’re hungry – you will buy more than you need. (If you know you’re going to struggle eat a healthy snack before you go).

4. Timing for Price Reductions

If you are able to shop in the evening you will probably find more bargains!!!! Shops often reduce the price of meat in evening before the sell by date runs out! A great time to buy meat to put in your freezer. (BUT only buy what you know you will use!!)

5. Visit your Local Market

The market is a great place to buy your fruit and veg, and they often reduce the prices towards the end of the day!

6. Stock your Store Cupboard

Each week try to buy one staple ingredient to add to your store cupboard so you can russell up something tasty when money is even tighter than normal.

At the end of the week congratulate yourself on how well you’ve done – focus on the positives. If you’ve ‘slipped up’ a bit be kind to yourself – REMEMBER the days that were successful and try again next week.

Don’t forget to freeze your leftovers to use another day.

By Gracie Luke on 17/04/16 | Category - General
We talk to Grace Luke, who started as a new food coach this week. She will be running courses in Guildford while Linda will focus on Woking.

Grace Luke - FoodWise Food Coach

What first drew you to the work of FoodWise?

Over the past few months God has been stirring my heart to be more involved with people in our local community.

What led you to join the team?

I have a passion about cooking and enabling others to provide home cooked wholesome meals. When I was approached by Linda (Aston) asking if I would consider working for Foodwise it seemed to be an ideal opportunity to serve others. In talking with Martin (Vodden) I realised that this would be something that would fulfil my ambition to get alongside others and share my knowledge and experience.

What are you most looking forward to when you start?

I’m excited at the prospect of working together with local churches, front line agencies, food banks and other charities to deliver practical help to people within their local communities. I believe this is a great way to make relationships and share God’s love to those around us.

Where will your first course be running?

My first course starts on April 21st when I will be assisting Linda at the Sythwood Surestart Centre in Woking. We will be working with young mums encouraging them to cook healthy meals for their families, using fresh ingredients as opposed to bought ready meals or take-aways, even on a restricted budget.

What is your favourite family meal?

I don’t have a favourite family meal! I love a variety of different foods. For me the best thing about food is how it is eaten. Our family, like most families is very busy and although we sit down and eat together on a daily basis there are times when mealtimes are rushed because somebody is going out. The best times are when we are all together, relaxing and enjoying one another’s company while we eat. For me food tastes better when eaten with family or friends!!!
If your organisation would like to host a course in Guildford please get in touch.
By Martin Vodden on 16/03/16 | Category - Events
FoodWise attend the Christian Agencies Network lunch to promote its work to a wider audience.


CAN Montage






More than 40 guests, including the Mayor, local councillors and professionals working within statutory services in Woking gathered at The Lighthouse for the Working Christian Agencies lunch today.  20 Christian agencies, amongst them FoodWise, shared a one minute pitch about their services, after which guest mingled around the exhibition for more in-depth conversations.

The aim of the event was to forge new connections and development working relationships for the benefit of the local community.

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