AN AWARD-winning chef at a Bromsgrove pub is providing free healthy meals for vulnerable people in the community during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Lorenzo Richards, who owns the Wildmoor Oak, has had to look at new ways to maintain an income after having to shut the pub in March.
He set up a take-away service for customers from Wednesday to Sunday but also wanted to help those struggling during lockdown.
He has been recycling food from supermarkets and warehouses that would otherwise be destroyed.
Lorenzo, using his time, passion and skills, and a team of five staff volunteers have turned the raw ingredients into a variety of healthy dishes, including vegetarian and vegan options.
Meals have included pasta bakes, fish in sauce and curries.
More than 300 meals are produced every Tuesday in the Wildmoor Oak kitchen.
Lorenzo has been working in partnership with Longbridge-based Foodcycle which was established in 2009 under the vision of no-one going hungry or lonely.
FoodCycle provides the ingredients and then collects the prepared meals each Wednesday from The Wildmoor Oak.
The meals are distributed to anyone in need, such as low-income families, asylum seekers and refugees, the elderly, and people dealing with mental health issues.
Lorenzo’s food has also been enjoyed by staff at West Midlands Ambulance Service.
Jody Beswick from FoodCycle said: “We would like to express a huge thank you for the effort Lorenzo and his team put in to support us with our food parcel service.
“Many people delay ordering their parcels as they are now aware that Wednesday and Thursday are ‘Lorenzo food day’ and we actually see an increase for parcels on these days.
“The volunteers get a buzz when the food arrives at our hub as they are eager to see what Lorenzo’s team have prepared.
“The Wildmoor Oak is bringing a bit of happiness to the people we try to help in these challenging times.”
Lorenzo said: “We are proud to be able to make use of our restaurant facilities and culinary skills to help others who are struggling during the pandemic.
“Every year almost 2million tonnes of surplus food is wasted by the UK food industry.
“This scheme helps stop this massive waste of food whilst having a positive impact on the local area by helping those in need.”
For more information visit facebook.com/wildmooroak