Skip to main content

Foundation supports FareShare GM slow cooker initiative

In an event hosted by the Foundation, Executive Head Chef, James Tagg and his team passed on their culinary expertise to local charity volunteers, as they prepare to service their communities with donations of slow cookers...

| by Nathan Thomas

As part of their efforts to support families facing severe hardship due to rising food and energy prices, FareShare Greater Manchester will be distributing 1000 slow cookers across the region over the winter.

To support this fantastic cause, the Foundation sought the help of Chef Tagg who created seven simple and nutritious recipes that can be sent to families, accompanying the slow cookers. In preparation, volunteers from local charities across Greater Manchester merged on Old Trafford in order for chef and his team to walk them through the recipes, allowing them to do the same for families in need.


Ruth Downes, food sourcing co-ordinator for FareShare GM, spoke to us about the bleak situation that many families in the community are having to deal with, and how this initiative will help.

“We are seeing an increase in demand for our services given the harsh socio-economic situation. Some of the local charities we support have reported a 40% increase in demand, with one in four of those requests coming from people in full-time employment - which is an extremely stark statistic.

“Of course, we’re very keen to do what we can to help, and the distribution of slow cookers presents a more affordable solution for families that might be struggling. It costs 7p per hour to run a slow cooker, as opposed to 70p - £1 using an oven. It can provide home-cooked, nutritious meals at a lower cost, which is exactly what is required at the moment.”


The Foundation worked with FareShare GM during the Covid-19 pandemic, once again calling on the help of Chef Tag to help prepare meals, before distributing them along with ambient food to families in our partner school network. Chef was equally keen to help this time around, guiding the volunteers through his different recipes.

“Manchester United is a huge part of the community, so just as we did during the pandemic, it was important to me that we help out again and assist where we can,” chef said. “It’s about looking after those in the area, developing them and giving everyone the opportunity to have the basics – a tasty and nutritious meal.

“Today, we’ve being teaching the teachers,” he added. “My colleagues and I took the volunteers through seven different, and varied, recipes that they can take back out into their local community and pass on to people who will benefit from them.”

The event was attended by 30 volunteers from across Greater Manchester, including Kerry and Nicky who both support Manchester Settlement in Openshaw.

“I originally started our food pantry specifically for working families and retired people, as there was no help for them,” Kerry told us. “This really is an issue that affects a wide proportion of society and makes days like these all the more important.”

“It’s extremely sad that some families have to make the awful choice between heating their house and eating,” Nicky added. “The pressure that places on those families is immeasurable, so hopefully we can make life just that little bit easier for them through this amazing opportunity.”


The event proved to be a really positive experience for those involved, with the volunteers leaving Old Trafford with a wealth of new knowledge.

“Being able to call on the help of Manchester United Foundation really is invaluable for us,” Ruth concluded. “I can’t thank them enough for helping facilitate this event and printing some recipe cards, and of course, Chef Tagg and his team whose sessions were so much fun and so informative.”

If you would like to find out more about FareShare Greater Manchester and support their efforts, head to:

To to donate food, money or volunteer your time please call 0161 223 8200 or e-mail