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Open Kitchens Tamper set to tackle food poverty during pandemic

In Sheffield, local favourites Tamper Coffee and The Depot Bakery have pledged to open their kitchen for eight weeks.

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Open Kitchens is a new not-for-profit organisation launched with the support of numerous UK businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak, with a view to re-purposing closed restaurant kitchens across the nation to provide free and nutritious meals to those in need.

Individuals set to benefit from the scheme include 'key workers' and anybody struggling to maintain a well-rounded diet as a result of physical isolation or financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 lockdown.

Donations are needed to cover the essential running costs for each Open Kitchen, with every £1.85 donated being enough to provide a single, restaurant-quality meal.

The planned initiative has already received high levels of interest from restaurant owners across the UK wanting to do their bit.

One of the key figures behind the project is Adam Roberts, the founder of the online restaurant guide Go dine and digital marketing agency Go dine digital. Over the past three weeks Roberts has re-focused his team's work-from-home agenda and galvanised as many business contacts as possible to spring Open Kitchens into life.

"With a client-base made up almost exclusively of restaurants, we knew via the front line and from the knock-on effect on our business just how severe the impact of coronavirus was going to be within days of social distancing measures coming into play," Roberts says.

"In searching for a point of reassurance for everyone involved, we came to realise that the facilities these restaurants already have in place offer huge potential for social good in a climate of isolation and food shortages.

"To get the idea off the ground as quickly as possible, we got the word out to as many organisations as we could think of in order to pool resources and the response from all angles so far has been phenomenal. Now we are putting everything we have into raising the funds required to get these kitchens up and running."

In Sheffield, local favourites Tamper Coffee and The Depot Bakery have pledged to open their kitchen for eight weeks and to cook 9,800 meals for those in need across the city.

But they need your help. Just £1.85 will provide a hearty meal for someone who needs it. Donate through Tamper's Just Giving page here.

If you or someone you know has access to a safe working vehicle and the ability to transport meals from a participating restaurant to members of the surrounding community, sign up to receive more information about volunteering on the Open Kitchens website.

Donate as an individual or organisation via the initiative's central Just Giving page. Each restaurant also has their own Just Giving page, which can be viewed via the Open Kitchens map.

Keep up to date with the latest from Open Kitchens on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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by Felicity Jackson (she/her)
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