Heading into my local Sainsbury’s just before lockdown was enforced felt like I’d stepped into a scene of a Zombie apocalypse movie. People rammed through the aisles grabbing anything and everything. I even witnessed a family take a whole tray of baked beans from the shelf and then admit out loud that they actually didn’t really like baked beans.
We’ve all seen these culprits and I must admit, I too also fell into the cycle of panic over-buying for those just-in-case scenarios. With everyone filling their trollies to the brim and baking all kinds of creations at home, in our sheltered bubbles at home it can be easy to forget about those who are struggling to make their next meal, but that’s where national heroes Open Kitchens come to the rescue.
The not-for-profit organisation has been teaming up with independent and chain restaurants across the UK to make sure all those who are vulnerable and struggling to fund mealtimes during the COVID-19 crisis have a hot, healthy and nutritious meal to look forward to.
Restaurants all across the UK are firing up their kitchens and working for free to cook meals for those who need it most. Pledging restaurants have been working to a budget of £1.85 per meal to cover costs funded by community donations. Open Kitchens then works with charities and organisations to get the hot meals delivered to the community.
In London, Adam Handling restaurant has pledged to the organisation and handed out nearly 4,000 meals, plus Flat Iron have also jumped on-board to help with this good cause. And it doesn’t just stop at London. Restaurants up and down the country have been pulling together to help out their community and those in need.
In just five weeks Open Kitchens have opened 31 restaurants, raised over £160,000 and given out over 95,000 free meals in London and beyond. With the mantra ‘open hearts, open kitchens’ the organisation and all those involved are pulling together during this crisis to help out where they can. To all the heroes working on the frontline and to those like Open Kitchens stepping up to help out their communities, we thank you for all of your incredible work.