A new initiative, Meals for the NHS, has partnered with The Striped Pig Company to provide hot meals for staff at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals.
The Meals for the NHS project started as a group of friends wanting to give back to the NHS, and has gradually grown into a nationwide project supporting local hospitals with free meals.
The Garstang-based Striped Pig Company, run by brothers Will and John Walne, are already supporting Lancashire Teaching Hospitals by donating profits from their gourmet ready meals, which can be ordered by the general public during lockdown, to the Pathology unit at Royal Preston Hospital.
Will Walne, Managing Director at The Striped Pig Company, said: “We’ve been supporting our local NHS for a while now, and we saw an opportunity to partner with Meals for the NHS to collect and drop off the meals at the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals’ NHS Heroes Hub. This is just one way that we can ensure as many members of staff as possible are well-fed during their busy shifts, and Meals for the NHS are supporting us in funding the ingredients for our delicious and nutritious meals.”
Will is responsible for the collecting and dropping off of the meals at the NHS Heroes Hub, working closely with Naeem Din, a volunteer who has dedicated all of his time to the smooth running of the Hub. In the first two weeks of the project, the Hub has received more than 400 meals for local NHS staff.
Naeem said: “We are extremely grateful to Meals for the NHS and to the Striped Pig Company for their incredible support. The NHS Heroes Hub is a place where Lancashire Teaching Hospitals staff can pick up food, drink and toiletries free of charge and anyone can leave a donation at the Hub to help keep us going. The meals we’ve received thanks to these organisations collaborating means our staff have access to fresh, nutritious food at such a busy and often difficult time. We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone at Meals for the NHS, the Striped Pig Company and every other person and organisation that has shown their support.”
Jessie Varma, from the Fundraising and Communications Team at Meals for the NHS, said: “We were sat at home helplessly social distancing and heard from friends how staff were doing 18-hour shifts, restricted by PPE and faced with closed canteens, there wasn’t much on offer other than something they could grab from a vending machine - it really hit home the need to get meals to doctors and nurses outside of standard working hours. Aside from the practical benefits of receiving food, we wanted an opportunity to say thank you to the NHS staff putting their lives on the line, while we remained safe at home. Through overwhelming public support we were able to show our appreciation and boost morale through delivering hot meals and at the same time, provide a crucial lifeline to small independent businesses who would otherwise be closed.
Paula Wilson, Head of Charities and Fundraising at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Under the current pressures, a freshly made, nutritious meal is needed more than ever. The wellbeing of our staff is vital, so we are incredibly grateful to Meals for the NHS and the Striped Pig Company for partnering up to deliver delicious food to our NHS Heroes Hub, which is a resource we are so proud of. The wonderful Naeem and his team have been giving up their time to manage the Hub and we simply couldn’t do it without them.”