A foodbank chef has shared what households can learn from their methods to bulk cook for less.

And she has disputed claims by a Conservative MP that people who use foodbanks cannot cook or budget.

One Vision provides food to those most in need in the Watford area; their meals are made cheaply and in bulk but the charity say they rarely get any complaints about the taste.

Nirmala Singhvi MBE, chef and HUB lead at One Vision, told us how they make Italian, Caribbean, Indian meals and more for the fraction of a cost of ready-made supermarket products, and how you can do the same.

She said: “We want to educate people that you can do cheaper simple meals as well. Use herbs and spices to make it tasty.

“For pasta you can just use a tin of soup over it with basil and parsley to make it tasty for far, far less than the supermarket sauces.”

Watford Observer:

One Vision currently has around 64 volunteers making about 200 meals a day at the hub in St Albans Road

“We send a tin of vegetables, peas, tomatoes so you can make a lovely pasta meal. Or with rice and lentils you can make a lovely Indian meal. The lentils have all the protein you need.

“There are a lot of options for cheap meals and when we send food, we try to send some recipes too so people can make the ones they like themselves.”

Watford Observer:

Nottinghamshire Conservative MP Lee Anderson argued in the Commons earlier this month that food banks are largely unnecessary because the main cause of food poverty is a lack of cooking and budgetary skills.

But Nirmala does not feel this is responsible for current difficulties.

She said: “I get upset about people saying that people don’t know how to cook. I think people know how to cook but it’s very difficult to budget meals and it just takes the time and effort. It’s just finding time to cook isn’t it?

“But the cost goes down so much if you cook from scratch so we want people to see there are these meals you can make for a couple of pounds that feed a whole family.

“It’s just fascinating that you can create so many boxes of food for so little money.”