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Mackie’s whisks up a treat for Garioch Community Kitchen

By Kyle Ritchie

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An ice cream brand has donated £2000 to support community cooking classes local to the company’s base in Aberdeenshire.

Mackie's of Scotland, the family-run ice cream and chocolate makers, has pledged the funds to sponsor 100 cookery sessions which will provide more than 400 meals run by Garioch Community Kitchen over the next year.

The donation will cover the costs of hosting the classes, which teach transferable food skills and promote healthy eating to disadvantaged groups, and those at risk of social isolation across central Aberdeenshire.

Stuart Common, managing director at Mackie's of Scotland.
Stuart Common, managing director at Mackie's of Scotland.

Stuart Common, managing director at Mackie's of Scotland, said: “Supporting the local community has always been hugely important to Mackie’s.

“We're delighted to be able to assist with the vital work of Garioch Community Kitchen in bringing people together to learn new skills and the benefits of a balanced diet.

“We hope this donation will allow even more people to access these brilliant classes and take away useful cooking knowledge.”

Garioch Community Kitchen aims to enhance the health and wellbeing of the local community through its range of informative food workshops delivered in a supportive environment by trained tutors and volunteers.

The cookery sessions cater to all ages and backgrounds but are particularly focused on helping those from disadvantaged areas or experiencing loneliness.

A typical two-hour class for 10 participants costs around £200 once staff time, food, venue hire and insurance is accounted for. Each attendee gets to take home a meal to share with their family.

Sarah Bell, business development manager at Garioch Community Kitchen, said: “We're extremely grateful for this generous sponsorship from Mackie's, who clearly share our commitment to improving lives through food.

“Their donation will allow us to run hundreds more classes over the next year, spreading skills and advice on nutrition while creating a warm, social space to bring people together.

“The branded tea towels Mackie’s have donated are also a lovely touch and provide a memento for those taking part, which can also be used when practicing the new skills taken away from the sessions.”

Established in 2011, Garioch Community Kitchen is run by a voluntary committee, with the work being delivered by four part-time food skills tutors, a part-time business development manager and 20 volunteers.

This past year alone the charity has helped more than 1500 people in the community through classes, training, events and partnerships with groups like NHS Public Health.

In 2021 the charity received the Queens Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a charity can receive.

This funding continues Mackie’s investment in the community after becoming the lead sponsor for the Run Garioch 5k in May this year.

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