YMCA partners with Open Kitchens to feed the vulnerable during pandemic


Nottinghamshire YMCA is delighted to announce its partnership with a brand new initiative called Open Kitchens to feed the charity’s formerly homeless residents during the country’s lockdown.

Supported by local businesses, Open Kitchens hopes to empower our community’s food industry to cook up and donate free meals to those in need during the coronavirus pandemic.

As vendors closed their doors to respect government guidelines on social distancing, Open Kitchens identified a real need to support at-risk individuals who cannot get outside to secure provisions during self-isolation. Restaurants signed up to the scheme so far include Yamas, Bar Iberico, Paris (Nottingham) and The Trent Navigation Inn, with other providers being encouraged to join the fight.

Open_Kitchens_Dave_Southgate_Gareth_PollittRegional charity Nottinghamshire YMCA supports around 400 formerly homeless residents living at the organisation’s supported housing across the region. This scheme has already seen 650 meals delivered in a single day to their hostel, on Shakespeare Street, with the promise of more to come.

Once delivered, the YMCA housing team divides the meals fairly between the charity’s residents in Nottingham, Worksop and Mansfield; at-risk children living at the YMCA’s homes in the community are also set to benefit. Meals are packaged as individual portions that can be frozen to last longer, which reduces the financial and health risks involved when residents need to leave the accommodation to shop during this trying period.

“It is heart-warming to see true human compassion shining through these dark times and we are deeply grateful to Open Kitchens for their incredible support,” said Nick Clements, Housing Operations Manager at Nottinghamshire YMCA.

“Rebuilding your life after homelessness is a life challenge in itself, but when money is tight and aren’t able to leave your home, the reassurance of knowing that people care enough to ensure you won’t go hungry is indescribably important for a person’s morale, health and sense of wellbeing.

“The safety of our residents is our absolute top priority, and we are reassured to know these are reputable restaurants with strict health and safety checks in place to reduce risks and maximise support for our community’s most vulnerable citizens. If you are a local restaurant or an individual who can sponsor a meal – you can help this scheme to support even more local people. We can get through this pandemic if we pull together.”

Open Kitchens is now working with firms to widen its reach and create an infrastructure that can feed those in need across the whole country, with hopes of developing an app so users can place their orders using their mobile phones.

Register your restaurant or sponsor a meal by supporting restaurants on the Open Kitchens’ website: https://openkitchens.co.uk

#OpenKitchens #ReasonY