Central England Co-op gives support to project in Kettering feeding homeless during Coronavirus pandemic

A vital project which is giving a lifeline to rough sleepers in Kettering during the Coronavirus pandemic has been boosted by a grant from Central England Co-op to help provide hot meals.

The ‘Corona Kitchen’ has been providing a hot meal service for vulnerable people in partnership with food banks and homelessness agencies in Kettering.

Since the enforced temporary closure of usual outlets which provide support for the homeless population, such as churches, the Corona Kitchen has been helping to fill the gap and ensure those who need it most can still access a meal.

The project has been handed a grant of £100 in vouchers by the Southern Membership and Community Council (MCC) at Central England Co-operative which will be used to buy ingredients and supplies for the meals.

Frank Rodgers, from Corona Kitchen, said: "Before the current COVID-19 crisis, the rough sleepers and less fortunate in Kettering could get a hot meal every day from different churches and outlets in the town, but obviously these have all had to be suspended due to the Government closure of cafes and restaurants etc.

“One of the owners of a restaurant in the town, Shaun Sedani of Sonora Mexican Kitchen, wanted to do something, so we started the Corona Kitchen and we serve hot meal takeaways on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Everyone who comes along gets a hot meal, two sandwiches and a snack, and sometimes a bottle of water or juice, depending on what has been donated to us.

“A very big thank you to everyone at Central England Co-op for their support – it is gratefully accepted. We continue to grow and on Tuesday 5 May, we hit a record high serving 104 hot meal takeaways, including 24 for Accommodation Concern.”

Karen Bevan, Member and Community Relations Officer at Central England Co-op, said she was delighted the MCC were able to support the Corona Kitchen.

She said: “When we first heard about the Corona Kitchen in Kettering, the Southern MCC were very keen to donate some vouchers to this very worthy cause to help the project with some supplies as it is a great example of co-operation making a real difference in the local community.

“We very much look forward to being able to visit when the lockdown is lifted and look at other ways on how we can support the Kitchen.”

People can keep up to date with what is happening in their local community in response to Coronavirus by visiting a dedicated online hub at www.centralengland.coop/updates


Notes to editors

About Central England Co-operative

Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK with interests in food, funeral, floral, travel and property investment.

Co-operatives have always been there for their communities; they were formed to protect them and help them flourish. 

Our 7,900 colleagues serving our Members and customers work hard to ensure that co-operative values, principles and spirit flow through everything we do to help support and improve our local communities.

Owned by hundreds of thousands of Members, we have over 430 trading outlets across 16 counties including West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. 

We are proud of our reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.

We invest a percentage of our trading profit into local communities through our Community Dividend Fund scheme, have donated over £1.3 million to our corporate charity partner Dementia UK and also operate a pioneering food redistribution partnership with FareShare Midlands so unsold food goes to those in need.

Visit www.centralengland.coop for more information or follow us on Facebook or Twitter using @mycoopfood

Press office contacts: Rob Smyth and James Brindle

Phone - 01543 421390

Email - publicrelations@centralengland.coop