McKays Hotel is to play its part to ensure the Christmas spirit isn’t swallowed up by the cost-of-living crisis by providing 100 free meals for Pitlochry’s Community Christmas Lunch.
Staff at the Pitlochry hotel are teaming up with the Atholl Centre, who run the Pitlochry Food bank and Community Larder, to provide ready-made festive meals with all the traditional trimmings.
McKays have also decided to devote the takings from their Thursday Quiz nights to supplying cases of food for the Food bank, which is seeing increasing demand due to rising living costs.
The hotel, restaurant and bar has pledged to support the free Christmas Day community lunch at the Atholl Centre, after working with the team there last year.
Concerns over potential new Govt lockdown announcements saw hotel visitors cancel pre-booked Christmas lunches and McKays donated excess turkey portions to the Food bank.
This year they have gone further, working with their trusted suppliers to provide full pre-cooked meals, free of charge, for 60 covers and 40 festive food parcels.
“Having spoken to people at the Atholl Centre, we know they are getting busier. They do an amazing job. More people are facing pressures with the cost of living.
“When you turn on the TV, there is a lot of stuff about people having to choose between heating and eating this winter. That is bad in this day and age. As individuals we can take things for granted but businesses and individuals that can afford it could help.
“At this time of year, as a business, we believe we should be helping if we can. Our suppliers have been great as well. We’ll be doing everything you would associate with a traditional Christmas lunch, bar the gravy,” said McKays Chef, Richard Kirby.
As well as operating the Food bank, the Atholl Centre is one of 4 designated Warm Places in the town where individuals, concerned about the cost of heating their homes, can meet and work.
Helen Kirkwood, Manager at the Atholl Centre, is delighted at receiving the help from McKays, as well as other community individuals and businesses.
“We’ve had a lot of help and McKays have really pulled out the stops. It’s just amazing.
“The Community Christmas Lunch will be for many different people, free of charge. There are some people who might be on their own, some who might be able to make a Christmas lunch but are perhaps worried about the costs of cooking. We will also be sending out the turkey dinners, in food parcels, too. Christmas is a family time and some people want to spend it in their own homes, with the kids staying in pyjamas for most of the day. We are catering for all, including our Food bank recipients.
“I am sure we will use all the 100 dinners!”