Derbyshire’s batch cook-deliver projects in urgent need of fridges and freezers

Food projects in Derbyshire urgently require fridges and freezers to continue providing vital services for vulnerable people in the county.

Since lockdown, many of these projects which provide cooked food to those who are unable to purchase food for themselves, have relied on the use of school appliances to store ingredients and ready-made meals.

Now that the new school year has started, these storage spaces are no longer available.

As a result, 11 kitchens across Derbyshire are now searching for upright fridges and/or freezers to safely keep food before distribution. This includes an urgent call for a freezer in Cresswell (Bolsover district) and a fridge in Chesterfield.

Through Rural Action Derbyshire’s Batch Cook-Deliver scheme, and using ingredients from local producers, community kitchens cook and package batches of ready meals using small, socially distanced groups of volunteers. These meals are then distributed by charities and community groups to those unable to access, afford or cook healthy food.

In July and August, these batch cook projects provided 32,878 meals to vulnerable people in Derbyshire.

With infection rates rising and another lockdown still a possibility, demand for these services could continue to grow over the coming months, making the work of these local food groups more important than ever.

To try and make sure this demand can be met, RAD is asking local businesses to donate fridges and/or freezers to some of the 11 food projects most in need. Or to be able to offer some significant discounts to make them affordable.  It is also hoped that delivery could also be part of any generous offer.

Beverley Parker, CEO of RAD, says:

“We really hope Derbyshire businesses can help us provide these vital items to ensure the food projects can continue to get healthy, freshly cooked meals out to people who find themselves struggling during these difficult times.”

For those able to help with this appeal, please contact Samantha Mumby-Harrison on 0785 7613004 or  [email protected].