Caring Cooks of Jersey are a Jersey-based charity founded and run by Melissa Nobrega, Barclays Inspirational Woman of the Year 2016.  The charity is founded on the philosophy that good food and nutrition from birth through a child’s life is crucial to their successful development.

Our vision: “Through teaching parents and children about food and nutrition, Caring Cooks aims to positively empower and influence the future health of our Island’s children and young people, now, and for generations to come.

They have recently joined Jamie Oliver’s Kitchen Garden Project which they have implemented with Samares School, Mont Nicolle and St Luke’s school, and plan to roll it out to more in 2017.  The project is designed to provide the children with the essential tools and skills they need to grow food from seed and prepare nutritious meals from scratch – equipping them with some of life’s most valuable skills. The children have already planted some lovely vegetables which they will grow and harvest themselves for use in their cooking lessons and in the school kitchen.

Caring Cooks of Jersey also have a variety of other programmes of support and education, and have a long term sustainable plan for growth and to extend their reach to even more families in Jersey.  

Their Weekly Meal Service is a programme designed to support families through hardship and allow them to eat well and eat together, at least once a week, without the worry of having to cook or spend money on ingredients.  During 2015, they prepared and delivered over 3,000 meals to families in crisis, reached over 60 families, and made a direct impact on nearly 300 adults and children.

Their Community Cooking Programme is a 5-week cooking course for parents, with children of school age.  It aims to give them the confidence, skills and knowledge to prepare their own meals from scratch, so that they can establish healthy eating habits for their families in the home.

Plans for the future!  They would love to source a permanent base for Caring Cooks of Jersey, where they could implement a full time family focussed community café, increase their use of food waste, introduce more cooking courses and provide free toddler and baby meals.  They also want to start the ‘Proper Packed Lunch Project’ to supply healthy homemade lunches direct to schools for children in crisis.

The charity has made some incredible achievements, and have some ambitious, positive plans for the future.  They have helped change people’s lives by providing the island with better food education, by showing care and compassion for their circumstances and by giving them a helping hand to get back on track and have a bright future.

About Melissa Nobrega

Melissa is married to Delio, and Mum to Ruben, 5, and Isabela, 3. She trained as a chef and had a brief stint in a London hotel, before realising it wasn’t for her. But her passion for food is still as strong, and since having her children, it has become even more important in her family life. Like the rest of the Caring Cooks team, Melissa is not a dietician, nor a nutritionist, she is just a Mum who wants to support other parents in making tasty and nutritious food part of daily life, for them and their children.