A furloughed Angus chef has led a remarkable community effort to dish up thousands of free meals in his home town.
Connor Taylor’s Frontline Food charity started with the idea of a Facebook offer of a free bowl of soup early in the pandemic.
It has since developed into a 25-strong team of volunteers who have kept Arbroath folk fed during lockdown.
Almost £10,000 of support has poured in and, as the 26-year-old prepares for the final weeks of the community operation before he returns to work, he is hopeful of coming up with a plan to keep it going post-pandemic.
Connor, a chef at Brewer’s Fayre at Ethiebeaton, said: “I was furloughed and was making a massive pot of soup and someone suggested I could maybe offer it to key workers.
“The first day we had 45 responses, then 120 and it just took off from there, it was absolutely amazing.
“My goal was 10,000 free meals and from just our little town in Arbroath we’ve done 10% of what a global organisation like Domino’s has done, so I think that’s pretty good,” said Connor.
Having set up in his uncle’s kitchen, Connor and his team were given the use of Arbroath’s James Street Church as a base.
“It’s been amazing to see how it has gone. I love cooking and I hope that this has made a difference to some folk in the town,” he said.
“I’ve had my own issues so I like to think that this has evened out my karma and I really want to try and continue it once this is over to help the vulnerable adults in the town.”
Arbroath charity Reach Across, set up by local mum Sandra Ramsay following the loss of her son, Ross, in 2013 has been a major supporter of the initiative.
A team of 21 volunteer drivers have stepped up to get the meals to locals, co-ordinated by Avril Muir, who normally works with Enable Scotland.
“It’s really taken off and some days we were delivering 200 meals,” she said.
“We did a lot of sourcing funds and so many people have been great in supporting us. Reach Across have been great and Morrisons have been amazing in the food they have provided.
“It’s been a lot of work but really worth it and folk have been so keen to help. As soon as we put out a plea for volunteer drivers we were absolutely inundated,” said Avril.
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