I'm Jack Monroe, and in 2[phone redacted] I lived in desperate poverty. I was eventually referred to a food bank, where I survived for six months on kindness and donated tins and packets. I started to write about my experiences online, and haven't stopped since. I now write cookery books teaching people to cook on the smallest of budgets and smallest of kitchens. I work with food banks, charities, homelessness shelters, and campaign against austerity and for decent jobs and wages.
Tin Can Cook is my fourth cookbook, and I insisted on writing it, partly as an entry-level cookbook for people who have never learned to cook, but mostly to restore some dignity to a food bank box. To give people choices, and agency, and good food, and resources. Tin Can Cook is a book of 75 easy, fun, delicious recipes, made from tin cans! Recipes include Carrot Cake Overnight Oats from a tin of carrots, Tinned Spud Fishcakes, a Chicken And Ham Pie, lots of curries, Cherry Chocolate Fudge, and how to cook pasta from a kettle or microwave. Tin Can Cook has received a lot of encouragement since it was first announced, with Jay Rayner from the Guardian describing it as 'both a brilliant thing and necessary', and support from Tom Parker Bowles, Ryan Riley from LifeKitchen, Nigella Lawson, and an article in the Telegraph.
I have donated my previous books to food banks and told them they can photocopy the pages to hand out to their clients, and they have done so in their thousands. I have made thousands of recipe cards to hand out to food bank users in conjunction with Oxfam and the Trussell Trust. But I want to do more.
I want this book to reach as many people as it needs to. I'm not in this to make money - the royalties for an author are laughably piteous, 7-10% of the RRP - so this isn't about flogging books. It's about giving people hope, dignity, and decent meals in the most dire of situations. And you can help.
At the moment, the retail price for Tin Can Cook is £6.99. I also need to factor in postage, packaging, and administrative costs. (I have done a Kickstarter before and ended up personally very out of pocket for not accurately factoring in postage costs, so I am being over cautious with my calculations, as it is better to overdeliver than disappoint. If I do find a way to get around the postage costs to deliver to approximately 400 different locations, I will donate the difference directly to the Trussell Trust and let you know).
I am also in conversation with corporate sponsors to see if they would match the books donated by you, which would be fantastic!
So, with postage, admin costs, packaging, and all that nonsense, at the moment I estimate that for every £9 raised, one book and three tins will be donated to a foodbank. (If this changes for any reason, and it shouldn't, I will let you know).
Books will be evenly distributed throughout the Trussell Trust network of food banks across the whole of the UK - you can find the areas that they cover here: https://www.trusselltrust.org/get-help/find-a-foodbank/ (but it's pretty much all of them!)
And what do I get out of this? Well to be honest, not much at all. But that's not what I'm doing it for. I wish I was rich enough to just donate a million books for every food bank user in Britain, every family in poverty, every school, every library, but I just earn the Living Wage (yes, really) and some months even that's a bit hairy, so I can't do this by myself. But you can help.
I know £9 is a lot of money to some people, so pledges start at £5, meaning you can co-fund a book with another donor. For every £9 raised, one book and three tins will be donated to a food bank, and they will go to a family or a person who would be at risk of starving without emergency food help.
To find out more about the work of the Trussell Trust, click here: https://www.trusselltrust.org/what-we-do/
To find out more about what I do, click here: https://www.independent.co.uk/helpahungrychild/jack-monroe-worst-christmas-help-a-hungry-child-food-poverty-the-independent-christmas-appeal-the-a8085251.html
For my backstory, click here: https://cookingonabootstrap.com/2012/07/30/hunger-hurts/
Every penny raised will go towards making a real difference, so thankyou for your help.
The Trussell Trust currently operate 420 food banks across the UK. Here's a breakdown of where the money raised here will go.
If we raise £3,780, every Trussell Trust food bank in the UK can receive one copy of Tin Can Cook to photocopy and hand out the photocopies to their clients - I've waived the copyright for food banks, they can copy it to their hearts content. I did this with previous books and foodbank managers said it made a real difference. And 1260 tins of food will be donated across the UK to feed people in need.
If we raise £7,560, every Trussell Trust food bank in the UK will receive two copies of the book, and 2,520 tins of food will be donated.
If we raise £37,800, every TT food bank in the UK will receive ten copies of Tin Can Cook, to distribute to 4,200 food bank users, and 12,600 tins of food will be donated across the UK to feed people who would be at risk of going hungry otherwise.
To give a book and a parcel of tins to every food bank user in Britain, we would need to raise around £7m. So every donation counts. Every single donation counts. If you can't afford to donate, please share on your social media instead - it's free!
If you have any further questions, or for press enquiries, please get in touch on [email redacted] and I or my admin angel, Caroline, will get back to you.
Thanks again for your support - I know this book would have made a real difference to me on the breadline, and I want to make that difference for other people.
Jack Monroe, author, Tin Can Cook.
[BOOKS WILL BE POSTED AFTER THE RELEASE DATE IN MAY 2019]
- David Boardman
- Anna Evans
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