More than 200 hot meals delivered to vulnerable by Portchester charity - and they need a bigger kitchen to meet demand

A PORTCHESTER charity has given out more than 200 hot meals to vulnerable people over the last four weeks – and is working to expand to keep up with demand.

By Richard Lemmer
Sunday, 12th April 2020, 5:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th April 2020, 5:39 pm

Portchester Community Association, in 38 West Street, Portchester, began delivering meals prepared in its on-site kitchen on Monday March 16.

Since its first week of supporting 20 people, its delivery service has grown to delivering more than 120 hot meals last week.

Now the community association is working to find a bigger kitchen to allow another volunteer chef to come on-board, with a bigger space allowing two chefs to practise safe social distancing.

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The Portchester Community Association has delivered more than 200 hot meals to vulnerable members of the community. Picture: Cheryl Coleman

Cheryl Coleman, manager of the association, said: ‘When I went out the first week, I was shocked by the people who have been left on their own – the lockdown took people by surprise.

‘Over the last two weeks I have heard so many similar stories of real need and anxiety concerning vulnerable people that we would really like to extend our service to more people and we hope to secure a larger kitchen to enable us to do so.

‘One of the people we help is a 97-year-old man. He has the early signs of dementia and lives away from his family. His daughter said it’s such a relief to her that we are delivering to him a hot nutritious meal which he can eat straightaway.

‘The demand has increased from our local community for this provision, from family members who do not live in the area for their elderly parents and members of other lunch clubs as well as our own members.’

More than 200 people have been provided with a hot meal. Picture: Cheryl Coleman

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The association is offering a range of dishes, including shepherds pie, Sunday roasts, and fish pie, at a charge of £3 to cover costs, with four volunteers delivering the meals across the area.

As well hot dinners, the delivery service is available to pick up prescriptions from Rowlands Pharmacy, in 44 West Street.

The volunteers and staff at the association were working ‘tirelessly,’ according to Councillor Roger Price.

Portchester Community Association is working to find a bigger kitchen to meet the demand for hot meals. Picture: Cheryl Coleman

He said: ‘They are offering a marvellous service and all credit to the team who are doing this seven days a week.’

Anyone in need of the service is advised to call 023 9221 0048 or message the group on their Facebook page.

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