163,500 hot meals provided for the vulnerable

Over the past 15 months, Covid-19 has left many vulnerable Derbyshire residents struggling to cook healthy, hot meals.

We became aware of the problem just over a year ago. Demand for hospital beds to treat Covid patients meant others were being discharged from hospital and in many cases they were often still too poorly to cook for themselves. 

To help support this vulnerable group we secured crucial funding and a Batch-Cook project was set up to help.

The pandemic and lockdown meant community cafes and kitchens were unable to operate. Through our Feeding Derbyshire partnership, we mobilised these groups to establish batch-cooking at its best. In June 2020, eleven community cooking groups signed up to batch-cook hot, healthy meals for the vulnerable in their communities. 

Since its inception, the Batch-Cook project supplied over 3.7 tonnes of food to the 11 groups. This resulted in over 163,500 nutritious meals distributed to vulnerable people in Derbyshire at an average cost of 91 pence per meal.

Beverley Parker, CEO of Rural Action Derbyshire says, “Once we were aware of the gaps in food provision for the vulnerable when the pandemic hit we were able to adapt and respond quickly. I have been so impressed by the enthusiasm and hard work of the volunteers that have made all this possible, and the fabulous staff team at RAD. It’s been a great achievement.”

Funding for the scheme has now ended, although some of the projects are hoping to continue to be able offer some prepared meals in their local area. With Covid regulations easing, community cafes and other food projects are able to reopen.

The Feeding Derbyshire partnership continues to support food banks, community pantries and school holiday clubs as the demand for emergency and affordable food remains at an all-time high.

Here is our infographic including figures and quotes from the project.

For information on food banks or other affordable food provision throughout Derbyshire go to our Feeding Derbyshire page or email [email protected]