02:54PM, Tuesday 21 April 2020
Link Foundation volunteers delivering free meals
A Marlow-based charity has been delivering 100 free meals a day to vulnerable families as part of a scheme set up by a celebrity chef.
The Link Foundation has been heavily involved in the Meals From Marlow campaign set up by Tom Kerridge, who owns Michelin Starred Marlow pubs The Hand and Flowers and The Coach.
The Link Foundation, a charity that supports vulnerable families in the area, was approached by Meals From Marlow and is now helping to distribute 100 meals a week to the 300 vulnerable families it supports.
Through the scheme, each of the families supported by The Link Foundation receives two meals a week, which only require reheating before eating.
Una Loughrey, chairman of The Link Foundation, has been spending her mornings driving around Berkshire and Buckinghamshire dropping off meals, along with the charity’s 20 volunteers.
She said: “Meals From Marlow has been brilliant, it makes things easier for people that are struggling and in not great housing situations and with quite a few children, its something really valuable.
“These families are on lockdown they are already struggling so it gives them that little bit of happiness and support.”
Meals From Marlow, set up by Mr Kerridge at the start of April, has raised nearly £175,000. It had initially aimed to supply 500 meals a week, but is now aiming to produce 1,000 per week to help feed those most in need.
As well as helping out with Meals From Marlow, The Link Foundation is also operating as close to ‘business as usual’ as it can during the coronavirus outbreak.
The charity has been distributing Sainsbury's and Argos vouchers, allowing vulnerable families to buy essential appliances like cookers and fridges, and allowing them to purchase essential groceries.
Despite carrying on through the outbreak, The Link Foundation has also been hit hard by the virus. Many fundraising events have been cancelled, including Cookham festival Let’s Rock The Moor, which normally raises thousands for the charity.
Instead, many individuals have been stepping in and making donations to help keep the charity going.
Una said: “It’s been challenging enough. We have been lucky that we have had personal donations coming into the charity.
“We have to get a bit more creative and people have been great, people have been generous, and it does bring communities together, and because we have been around for nearly 14 years, people know us and are willing to help us.
“What the outbreak has shown me is just how much good can happen out of a bad situation.”