Julie Baxter has launched a community takeaway project offering nutritious low-cost meals to those in need.
She explained: “Last February I looked into doing it in our local church but then we went into lockdown and it went on the backburner.
"I still had a job through lockdown but every Sunday I would go out in the community delivering free cake to the elderly and vulnerable and I was part of the isolation team doing prescription deliveries.”
Julie, who baked pies for a local butcher, continued: “My hours started getting reduced because of Covid so I needed to do something and decided to have another go at it and this which pays my wages.”
The community takeaway is based at St Mark’s Church, also home to the town’s food bank.
"We’re separate to the food bank but it has helped having that link of working next to each other,” said Julie.
The business has been up and running for some six weeks and Julie says she and her team of volunteers have been ‘extremely busy’.
“It’s really taken off,” said Julie. "We’ve been doing community lunches with a daily special and a pudding or soup and a roll for the vulnerable and shielding.
"A number of people have also lost their jobs and I was really worried about them getting food and a hot meal so we’re here for them too.”
She is grateful for the support she has had from the local community.
"Several people have had turkeys in their freezer since Christmas and asked me if I could use them which was very kind of them,” said Julie.
"Support like that has helped me give people a really cheap lunch but also a nutritious one which is something I’m passionate about.”
The meals, costing £3.25, are delivered plated up with full instructions provided. Homemade soup and a roll costs £1.25.
"After the pandemic I’d really like to teach people how to cook for themselves on a budget,” added Julie.
For more details get in touch via Cottage Catering on Facebook.