Kettering 'Corona Kitchen' volunteers hand out 3,000 meals

They have been volunteering to make sure nobody goes hungry during the coronavirus crisis

By Sam Wildman
Tuesday, 2nd June 2020, 6:00 am
These incredible volunteers have made 3,000 meals.
These incredible volunteers have made 3,000 meals.

Volunteers have served up more than 3,000 meals to make sure Kettering's vulnerable don't go hungry during the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite Sonora Mexican Kitchen in Montagu Street being closed owner Shaun Sedani has still been busy in the kitchen since the end of March, with Frank Rodgers busy organising a huge effort so that anyone who needed food could get some with the 'Corona Kitchen'.

As part of a team of eight volunteers they have been handing out food outside the Eden Centre four days a week - on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays - to plug the gap left by the enforced closures of soup kitchens and places around the town where those in need could get help.

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Using donations from supermarkets, food provided by the Kettering Food Bank and grant money, they have handed out an incredible 3,000 meal parcels which usually include a hot meal such as a stew, a sandwich, crisps, cake, a piece of fruit and a drink.

Shaun, who has volunteered to cook Christmas meals at the Eden Centre for the past four years, said: "I was sitting at home doing nothing and I had the time and the resources so I had to help.

"It's amazing to see how much it's helping people. It's not just the homeless but anyone who has been left vulnerable by the virus.

"We're hoping to do it until the soup kitchens re-open."

In just one day last month they handed out food for 110 people, with an average of 80 meals per day. Food is collected between 4pm and 5pm, keeping social distancing outside.

They were supported initially with funds from Johnny's Happy Place, Accommodation Concern and individual donations. As well as food bank donations they received donations from Tesco and Morrisons, and a £100 donation from Central Midlands Co-op.

Frank got in touch with Northamptonshire Community Foundation, who were administering emergency grants on behalf of the Government for activities linked to the Covid-19 crisis, and they were successfully awarded a grant for £2,400 to buy food supplies to cook and hand out.

Frank said: "Because there is no immediate change in opening of restaurants due, we will need more funding and our next job is to apply for a further grant from 'awards for all' from the National Lottery emergency funds.

"We have spread the word out to many different organisations that we are available, particularly for families who are finding it difficult financially during these periods of job furlough or even lay-offs."