120 free cooked Xmas dinners on the way
Workers at a Pitlochry Hotel and their warm-hearted suppliers are rallying round to provide the biggest Christmas gift yet for the town’s Food Bank.
Three years ago fears over festive Covid restrictions led McKays Hotel Bar and Restaurant to donate all pre-bought surplus food to the Food Bank at the town’s Atholl Centre.
Last year, their staff went one better by making 100 free dinners for the Christmas lunch at the facility on Atholl Road- and for food parcel deliveries to local households.
However, 2023 is set to be the biggest effort yet, with nearly 120 meals being delivered to the Food Bank for the Christmas Day meal and deliveries to homes.
Suppliers Brakes have gifted traditional turkey, sprouts and Chipolata sausages while Mark Murphy, part of the Total Produce Group, will be donating Scottish-sourced potatoes, carrots and parsnips.
The McKays kitchen team will cook all the meals, ready for serving, and deliver them to the centre in time to support those experiencing need over the Christmas period.
Moreover, all entry fees from McKays’ weekly Quiz Nights for the month of December will go towards helping stock the Food Bank with household essentials individuals and families require, in January.
“Once again, our suppliers have been very generous and, for our staff, it is just something they enjoy doing,” said McKays General Manager, Alec Summers.
“They like to help the local community and see it as a chance to make a difference especially at this time of the year when things are very tight with the cost of living.
“For them, it is an opportunity to give something back.”
Helen Kirkwood from the Atholl Centre says the effort will be greatly appreciated, with the Food Bank experiencing greater demand in 2023, due to rising living costs.
Thankfully, more volunteers have also come forward to help out over the festive period, with around 20 stepping in for the Christmas Day meal and with deliveries.
The higher number of meals being provided by McKays this year could also extend into provision over the New Year period.
However, Helen is still hopeful of getting even more people booked in for the Christmas meal, which everyone is looking forward to.
“This year, we’ve not only seen people struggling with the cost of food, they are having difficulty with all costs.
“We also run Warm Places at various locations and there have been more people using these as well.
“What has been really good is the number of people who are very willing to get involved to help.
“We still have room for more people at our Christmas Day meal, so it will be good to see as many as we can. We are looking forward to a good festive occasion.”
People wanting to book seats for the Christmas Day meal can contact 01796 473044.