Express & Star

Stafford food charity switches to home deliveries

As one door closes another opportunity opens for a Stafford charity which supplies meals and advice to struggling residents.

William Morris with staff

Like most cafe operators, House of Bread has been forced to close its frontline building due the coronavirus restrictions.

But the project is still up and running with Cafe 43, in Browning Street, switching to a seven-days-a-week meal delivery service instead.

Around 100 meals a day are now being offered.

With the help of an army of volunteers the charity which provides food and a vital listening ear service to residents is now providing two meals a day to those who need it and food hampers.

House of Bread operations manager Jack Morris said: "When things started to change we quickly realised that our clients would not be able to come in to us and we needed to change the way we operate.

"Our project is usually firstly based on people coming in to eat and then they focus on socialising and then we deal with any issues they may have. We realised that we wouldn't be able to offer the social side, but the food is still very important.

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"We closed our frontline cafe and turned it into a delivery cafe. We used to run on Tuesday afternoons, and all day Wednesdays and Thursdays. With deliveries we can offer a seven-day service.

"We found that people with a small amount of money or those on low income couldn't get food from the supermarkets because everybody else was panic buying, so by the time they got there the shelves were bare. Then some of our suppliers were closing or had no stocks to donate.

"We were getting hit on both sides. A lot of restaurants and the cafes who would normally give us items have closed. Some have donated their food to us. We've got quite a bit to work with along with tinned and long life items for the food bags we distribute. "

Meals delivered so far include chicken curries, vegetable pie, macaroni and cheese, and sausage eggs and beans.

Mr Morris said the charity's staff were manning the phone and the food deliveries were being carried out by Stafford Rugby Club.

"It's just been wonderful to see the community being so generous in the face of adversity. It's been quite remarkable the phone calls and the support that we've had from folks," he added.

To contact House of Bread and Cafe 43 telephone 01785 243492 between 9am and 6pm.