Skip to main content
A Magazine for
Secret Dishes From Around the World 2 by Bounceback Food CIC

Fighting Food Poverty and Building Communities

Bounceback CIC founder Duncan Swainsbury tells us about their ambitions to help build a fairer food system and bring together communities.

Bounceback Food CIC is a community based cookery school who’ve been fighting food poverty in Greater Manchester, Cheshire and North Wales since 2014.

They have a simple mission: they want to bring together communities and get food to those in need.

Since they launched, they’ve run cookery classes and food bank initiatives, and most recently launched a couple of fundraising cookery books, called ‘Secret Dishes from Around the World’. Each of these celebrates recipes from 20 different countries from around the world and features original artwork from local artists.

Book three is in the pipeline and the crowdfunder to commission the artwork is on target. This will be a nationwide arts project and Bounceback will be partnering with 20 arts charities. Each one will represent one of the 20 towns and cities where Bounceback delivery teams will operate.

It’s great to hear that Bounceback will be partnering with Manchester-based Venture Arts, an award-winning visual arts charity who support learning for disabled people to reach their full potential through arts and culture. Their aim is for disabled people to be empowered, included and valued in the arts, culture and society. They exhibit their artists’ work regularly, in high-profile galleries and exhibitions in the North West and nationally.

To learn more about the story of Bounceback, founder Duncan Swainsbury tells us about their ambitions to help build a fairer food system and bring together communities.

Tell us more about Bounceback Food.

Bounceback Food is a community cookery school that's proactively fighting food poverty.

We teach people how to cook, donate food to food banks from our 'buy one, give one' food bank drive at market events, and provide catering services in disadvantaged communities across Greater Manchester, Cheshire and North Wales.

Since 2014, we've supported food bank beneficiaries, carers, stroke survivors and people living in sheltered accommodation - working with schools, housing associations and partner charities to deliver social impact.

I set up our social enterprise after spending time volunteering at FareShare Greater Manchester back in 2014. I was shocked by the scale of food poverty in our country and decided to set up an organisation that would tackle food poverty on multiple fronts.

What's the response been like?

Great! We've pioneered the use of the 'buy one, give one' model with food redistribution, ensuring food banks receive good quality items of food.

Then with our wonderful public cookery courses, I think we've made huge strides at bringing people together through food.

What are you most proud of?

The social impact we've made in communities across Greater Manchester, Cheshire and North Wales.

Our team has taught 2,500+ people how to cook, donated over 10,000 items of food to local food banks and generated over 75,000 meals as part our community outreach work.

Secret Dishes From Around the World 2 Bounceback Food CIC

Secret Dishes From Around the World 2

Bounceback Food CIC

How has COVID-19 been challenging and how have you kept connected with the community?

The majority of our face-to-face cookery courses and catering events in 2020 were cancelled. We’ve had to completely change the way in which our social enterprise generates social impact.

As part of our immediate response in March 2020, we donated all our remaining stock to food banks and ran a telephone and email support service for carers in Manchester.

We've also developed brilliant online cook-alongs that use the same 'buy one, give one' ticketing model, batch cooked and distributed meals for vulnerable adults in central Manchester and launched an online cooking and nutrition portal.

This gives support to those people who need it, including free access to hundreds of healthy recipes, cooking tips and nutrition advice 24/7.

What's planned for 2021?

We're actively looking for people who want to help us scale up our community work and fight food poverty across the UK. The plan is to have three additional delivery teams established by the end of 2021, with a further seven in 2022.

We're also planning to publish ‘Secret Dishes from Around the World 3’, and release the second series of our podcast, ‘Share Your Secrets’. Take a listen and learn more about the cuisines featured in the books and hear what inspires our featured artists.

How can people find out more?

You can visit our website to keep up to date with our work and follow on social media. We're @BouncebackFood on Instagram and Twitter, and our Facebook page is facebook.com/BouncebackFood.

More Food

Localcheck Digging a Way Forward

With the hospitality industry reeling from recent events, we spoke with ShinDigger co-founder George Grant about how the brewing company has coped with these challenges.

Fresh Servings at Kim's Kitchen

Steeped in the history of Manchester's old Hulme, Kim's Kitchen embarks on a new phase of community-orientated hospitality.

Celebrating the seasons

Make the best of what’s around you this winter harvest – our tips on how to prepare and cook in-season fruit and veg.

A Matter of Taste

Food. Without it, you’d die. That’s not in question. When Covid-19 showed its creepy consequence and it became apparent everyone in the UK…

The Big Indie Wine Fest

The closing weekend of the Manchester Food and Drink Festival saw the return of the Big Indie Wine Fest. It’s the 11th year of this…

More Food