Paignton dad Mike Trower and his young children, Cody and Lara, are using their unique business idea to raise awareness for Paignton Zoo.

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Cooking with Cody is all about teaching youngsters the joy of preparing food and developing an understanding of ingredients.

“We used the profits from food kits we are selling across the UK to buy an annual pass for Paignton Zoo, plus £15 to spend in the gift shop,” said Mike.

“For the pizza kits, there is some dough, cheese, toppings and sauce. The idea is for kids to use the kits to learn about cooking, getting them used to different vegetables and flavours.

“We live in Paignton and it is great for Cooking with Cody to help the zoo in some way.”

You can nominate someone worthy of winning the zoo pass by visiting www.cookingwithcody.co.uk/zoopass

As well as fundraising for the zoo, Cooking with Cody has played a huge role in supporting the homeless across Torbay, providing nutritious meals for a vulnerable group at a time of great need.

“Cooking with Cody started when I became a full-time dad and I didn’t know how to cook,” said Mike. “I had quit work and moved away from Birmingham due to a family breakdown.

“We had to use food banks and lots of different ingredients I had never used before, so I thought it would be fun to start a YouTube channel, with Cody and I learning to cook together.

“We have received more interest from the media, including BBC Spotlight and a feature on the Russell Howard show, which helped us raise money to purchase a bus for cooking workshops.

“During lockdown, we worked with the Thrive Project in supporting homeless people. Food going to waste from supermarkets was donated and we took on the challenge of cooking meals for the homeless.

“We have saved almost £4,000 from food that would have been otherwise thrown away and putting all the trays of food we have made on top of each other would be higher than the Eiffel Tower. Cooking with Cody is a community interest company and helping Paignton Zoo is huge for our community.”