New nationwide initiative 'Open Kitchens' promises lifeline for restaurants and communitiesPublished On Saturday 4 Apr 2020 by Sticky Beak
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A brand new not-for-profit organisation named ‘Open Kitchens’ has been launched by a conglomerate of UK businesses, with a view to repurposing closed restaurant kitchens to provide free nutritious meals to the vulnerable during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Individuals set to benefit from the scheme include key workers and anybody who is struggling to maintain a well-rounded diet as a result of physical isolation or financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 lockdown.
Open Kitchens seeks to raise funding per participating restaurant such that they may produce meals, with amounts raised enough to cover essential running costs for the kitchen, including energy bills and supplies
Once a restaurant has raised enough to launch their Open Kitchen, fundraising would continue in a bid to see it remain open for a second and - ideally - third month, effectively providing the service to communities throughout the forecast peak of the outbreak.
The planned initiative has already received high levels of interest from restaurant owners across the UK wanting to do their bit, to feed those in need.
George Ktori who runs the popular Greek restaurant Yamas in Nottingham city centre was thrilled to learn of the initiative:
“When Open Kitchens came to me, I was immediately on board. It’s important to help in these times and feed those who need it most. We’ve got the equipment and the talented chefs, to volunteer their time and cook fresh meals for those who don’t have access to them.”
“We just hope that we’ll be able to drum up enough support in the way of donations and volunteers to make this fantastic idea a reality.”
The significant delivery operation required to get meals out to recipients will be solely reliant on a network of volunteers known as “Delivery Angels”. If you or someone you know has access to a safe working vehicle and the ability to transport meals from a participating restaurant to members of the surrounding community, sign up to receive more information about volunteering at www.openkitchens.co.uk
Adam Roberts is the founder of online restaurant guide and digital marketing agency ‘Go Dine,’ who over the past three weeks has re-focused his team’s work from home agenda and galvanised as many business contacts as possible to spring the initiative into action. Of the project, he says:
“With a client-base made up almost exclusively of restaurants, we knew via the front line and from the knock on effect on our business just how severe the impact of Coronavirus was going to be within days of social distancing measures coming into play.”
“In searching for a point of reassurance for everyone involved, we came to realise that the facilities these restaurants already have in place offer huge potential for social good in a climate of isolation and food shortages.”
“To get the idea off the ground as quickly as possible, we got the word out to as many organisations as we could think of in order to pool resources and the response from all angles so far has been phenomenal. Now we are putting everything we have into raising the funds required to get these kitchens up and running.”
Donate as an individual or organisation via the initiative’s central Just Giving page. Just £1.85 will provide a hearty meal for someone who needs it. You can keep up to date with the latest from Open Kitchens anytime on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.