Lanarkshire takeaway to dish out 100 fresh meals a week to food bank users

Food bank users in East Kilbride were this week served 100 freshly cooked meals thanks to a game-changing new charity venture from a local takeaway.

VeganKitchen EK has teamed up with Loaves and Fishes to prepare and deliver quality ready meals to those in need in the East Kilbride community.

And the generous College Milton-based vegan delivery firm has pledged to dish out 100 meals every week to help struggling families out.

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It is hoped local shops and supermarkets will get on board with the venture ensuring no discarded food goes to waste.

VeganKitchen EK, whose owner wished to remain anonymous, told us: “I approached Loaves and Fishes a few weeks ago about the idea of ​​supplying fresh ready meals to residents around EK who currently use their services.

“I had never been in a food bank before and it was exactly what I expected – a bunch of really nice, hardworking people who are run off of their feet because the demand for their services are so high.

100 freshly prepared meals will be delivered to hard-pressed families in the East Kilbride community

“I couldn’t in good conscience ask them to do more, bear in mind they mainly deal with ambient temperature produce and ready meals would require fridges then the additional need for delivery drivers.

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“So I offered to use our driver to deliver the meals. This means that Loaves and Fishes can concentrate on helping people and each week they will forward us a list of people who they believe would benefit most from what we are doing.

“We will prepare, pack and deliver the food to customers, so it’s no different than ordering a home delivery.

“I’m committed to preparing and delivering 100 meals on a weekly basis, I will continue to do this for as long as I can but ultimately I want this to grow.

Loaves and Fishes viec-chair Lesley Davidson

“I hope to get shops and supermarkets on board, collect all of the fresh fruit and veg due to be discarded and turn them into ready meals for people who are currently struggling.”

Food banks have seen demand spike with hard-pressed families facing a ‘triple-hit’ on their finances.

The cutting of the £20 Universal Credit uplift, significant increase in fuel, food and energy costs and the National Insurance increase which people on low incomes are going to be affected by too are now starting to hit home.

Loaves and Fishes, who help the most needy across the town and in nearby Strathaven, say demand for emergency food parcels has risen by approximately 10 per cent in the last few months.

They have gone from handing out roughly 80-90 parcels a week to hitting over a hundred – with five new families reaching out to the charity every week.

With demand for their selfless service greater than ever, the charity is set to move into even bigger premises in the Kelvin Industrial Estate at the end of the month.

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VeganKitchen EK added: “Allowing food to be thrown away whilst maintaining the need for food banks is unacceptable.

“People deserve better than we currently get, governments are failing left, right and centre, so whilst I am limited in resources I will do what I can to try and make a positive impact on somebody’s day.

“If people support this idea then, who knows, the sky is the limit.”

VeganKitchen EK offer a range of different dishes from pasta and pizza to vegan versions of Big Macs and double cheeseburgers.

“They are set to launch Plant Based Meal Prep in the coming weeks.

Their packing is microwave and oven safe and compostable – made from sugar cane pulp – so once you’ve finished your dinner, the packaging goes straight in the food bin.

Their pricing structure starts from five meals for £25 and for every five meals purchased, they will donate a further two on top of their weekly 100.

Vice-chair of Loaves and Fishes, Lesley Davidson said: “When VeganKitchen contacted me to suggest working with us to provide freshly prepared meals I was delighted!

“He brought some up for us to sample and we were so impressed. It’s such a relief to be able to provide freshly prepared food as getting any nutritional balance with a food parcel is really tricky.

“The focus is often bulk and budget. So this was an amazing chance for our guys.

“Our first week went incredibly well, I have spoken to everyone who received a food delivery and they loved every bite!”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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