"The key workers have done so much for our community during the coronavirus crisis and we wanted to show our appreciation."
Ibrahim Romel, of Rajastan Royal
Charities and food outlets in Bristol have joined forces to deliver THOUSANDS of FREE meals to key workers throughout lockdown.
Teams from takeaways, restaurants and campaign group UK Curry Connect took part in the ‘Food 4 NHS Project’.
The initiative was led by Naseem Talukdar, who is a project manager for charity Plastic Pollution Awareness and Action Projects (PPAAP) .
Naseem, who also helps out at Rajastan Royal takeaway in Downend, whose team volunteered their time and cooking, said: “We launched the project as soon as we went into lockdown.
“Frontline workers have been bravely putting their lives at risk to help others and we wanted to do our bit to support them.”
Naseem coordinated with UK Curry connect, which has been set up to raise awareness of skills shortages in the Asian catering industry, and food caterers across the South West.
The relationships were built through their ‘Curry and Conversations’ – meet-ups to find alternatives to single-use plastic in the food industry.
The volunteers have delivered 2,500 hot meals to staff at BRI, Blackberry Hill and Frenchay hospitals, as well as Emersons Green NHS Centre.
They also dropped food off to key workers and police officers, who had limited access to food during their long shifts.
Dr John Manley, High Sheriff of Bristol, supported the project and presented volunteers with certificates for their contribution.
He said: “During lockdown many parts of the city have come together to support and help one another.
“It is great to see so many people in the food industry offer their time and skills for frontline workers”
Stefan Jakubowski, service manager at Blackberry Hill Hospital, said the warm meals helped to boost morale.
He said: “The staff had been working in difficult conditions, with full PPE, and the food deliveries helped brighten up their day.
“To receive warm, good quality food, especially while the onsite canteen had to be closed, was really appreciated. It showed a recognition for the team’s work and boosted morale.”
Those helping out included Rajastan Royal in Downend; Curry Supreme, Staple Hill; Golden Moments Indian Restaurant, Saltford; Curry Kings, Kingswood; Bengal Raj, Stoke Bishop.
Ibrahim Romel, of Rajastan Royal, who is also taking part in a PPAAP scheme to reduce plastic, said: “The key workers have done so much for our community during the coronavirus crisis and we wanted to show our appreciation.”
Similar schemes, linked to ‘Curry and Conversations’, have been carried out in Weston, Dorset and Salisbury.
· For more information, visit https://www.ppaap.org.uk/