The Plough, on St John’s Road in Whitstable, is celebrating giving away over 800 meals, and counting, to the vulnerable and elderly in its community. Publican, Mel Evans, was recognised by local community group, Red Zebra Community Solutions, for her help in ensuring the Whitstable community have all been looked after throughout the pandemic.
Mel started her initiative back in April 2020 when she began offering a takeaway service. With each meal delivered came a note asking if the recipients needed help, or if they knew anyone who did. And by the end of the first week, Mel had fifteen elderly and vulnerable people to deliver their Sunday lunches.
Not long after, Red Zebra Community Solutions approached Mel and her team to work together in expanding The Plough’s free meals. Now, with the help of volunteer delivery drivers, up to 40 meals are given away every week. Each meal consists of roast beef, roast chicken or a vegetarian option and are all served with roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, creamy leeks, cabbage peas and carrots.
Mel said: “I’ve always said, if people need help, I’ll do whatever I can to help them out. And, I’ve really been in an incredibly fortunate position that I have been able to. Thanks to having such a wonderful team who have such enthusiasm for doing what they can for the community, suppliers who also jumped at the chance to get involved, and Red Zebra for doing the work they do and helping us to expand to help more people.
“It makes everything worth it to hear that we can genuinely make a difference in people’s lives too. The daughter of one of our regular deliveries rang us up to let us know just how much her dad enjoyed his Sunday dinner and that he looks forward to it every week. It really touches me to hear that people enjoy their meals.
“In this day and age, nobody should be going hungry and we intend to keep doing our bit to make that a reality in Whitstable, for as long as necessary. So if anyone knows someone who is struggling, just let us know – we’re here to help!