There With You: Pub donates meals to NHS workers and elderly in community

PUBLISHED: 12:00 25 March 2020

Bird In Hand pub owner Toby Gritten is offering free hot meals to the elderly and NHS workers in the area.    Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Bird In Hand pub owner Toby Gritten is offering free hot meals to the elderly and NHS workers in the area. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

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A village restaurant is donating homemade meals to elderly people who are self-isolating since the coronavirus outbreak.

Bird In Hand pub owner Toby Gritten is offering free hot meals to the elderly and NHS workers in the area.    Picture: MARK ATHERTONBird In Hand pub owner Toby Gritten is offering free hot meals to the elderly and NHS workers in the area. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Bird In Hand pub owner Toby Gritten has organised the service to help ‘anyone who needs it most’ in the community.

Toby and his staff in Long Ashton delivered 200 boxes of takeaway food from home-made ready meals to fresh vegetable and meat boxes over the weekend.

For every meal bought, Toby donates a home-cooked dinner to NHS staff, vulnerable people and elderly self-isolators in the village.

Toby said: “We’re offering people a takeaway service, veg boxes and ready meals which can feed one up to four people – until we have guidelines through on Wednesday (today) telling us otherwise, we will continue to run the service in Long Ashton.

“For every meal bought, we’re donating another one to the over-70s, vulnerable people and NHS workers who are working all hours and don’t have time to feed their families.”

Toby has been running pubs for 13 years and has owned the Bird In Hand since 2012 and ‘with a heavy heart’ had to close the doors to his pub on Friday to adhere to government guidelines to prevent the spread of the disease.

He hopes it is not the last time the pub doors are shut and, in the interim of its temporary closure, wants to make sure the community is fed in its time of need.

Toby continued: “I’ve got 50 staff who I told straight away that we may not be able to afford to pay them at the end of the month.

“It was the most humbling experience, they said you have been looking after us for years and I have nearly a full quota of staff who wanted to volunteer their time to help the community, even if they may not get paid.

“It’s a horrible situation to be in, but I want to be in my kitchen every day making meals for people in the community, and we are here to help.

“I want to make sure people are fed and aren’t worried about not being able to get to the shops, and we served more than 200 takeaway meals this weekend.

“Everyone has to stick together, and we’re here to help anyone who needs it.

“If anyone knows anyone vulnerable in the area who is in need to our services,
please give the Bird In Hand a call.”

Since Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement on Monday, the pub is still delivering ready-made oven meals and soups, but has stopped making hot takeaway meals.

The Bird In Hand’s menu will be updated every few days and the business will still serve fresh meat boxes.

To order food, call the Bird In Hand on 01275 395222.


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