the birth of donate a diner

 

March 2020 was a strange and scary time for all. After the press conference warning people to stay away from bars & restaurants, we saw trade start to dwindle as did all hospitality. Less and less people were choosing to go out so we realised we had to do something to stay afloat. Takeaway Pies and Stews were introduced! Nicky ventured to the foodbank to try and donate some of our excess stock. But, through no fault of their own, they were unable to take any fresh produce. Maybe there was a way we can  help others?

Donate a Dinner was just a scrawl on the fridge to start with but amazing customers buying our takeaway stews were adding a few extra pounds to send out meals to those in need.  

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Fast forward a few short days and the announcement came we were dreading. From 20th March we had to close our doors to the public, what many people didn't realise is that we were actually closing our doors for good. The ball was already rolling, our lease was due to end and a new adventure was in the pipeline.

A few days wallowing in self pity and lot's of doom and gloom on the news, we decided to put a plan in place to secure our future, however everything doesn't always go to plan......

Our phone would not stop ringing. Schools were getting in touch because they were worried about the impact of not having the school meals, people were worried about thier neighbours who had lost thier jobs and elderly who couldn't get to the supermarkets before the shelves were cleared. Donations were coming in faster than we could manage and we knew we had to change our initial plans. We couldn't keep up with demand for takeaways and the donated meals so one had to end.

It was a fairly easy decision to make, yes we needed an income to keep us afloat, however our need was far less than that of the local community who had supported our business so much over the past 4 years.

The response was outstanding! A go fund me page was set up, our landlord let us use the kitchen at no cost, Nicky's brother Ben volunteered for deliveries & a local chef donated their time to help cook.

We had drop off points set up in the surrounding villages, people donating far and wide and the community support made us proud to be part of Faversham.

At it's peak, 112 meals were delivered in one day. But thankfully, after a few months demand started to dwindle. People were finally getting the support they needed and things were looking up. So after just over 1000 meals and £2705 in donations, we called time on the scheme that would not have been possible without the generous donations.