A collective of more than twenty of the city’s best-loved independents – from bakers to cheesemongers to pizza makers – will be delivering weekly food parcels to workers who are likely to be rushed off their feet in the coming weeks.
But to guarantee that deliveries can continue for the duration of the crisis, a Just Giving page has been set up to cover the ongoing cost of ingredients and deliveries.
Kevin McGuckian is the brains behind the initiative, he is also the founder of artisan scotch egg company Holy Yolks.
After realising how seriously the Coronavirus crisis was likely to affect the NHS, Kevin was eager to do something to help the staff who would bear the brunt of the outbreak.
Via Instagram, he began contacting other local independent food businesses (nicknamed his band of ‘indeivengers’) to enlist help, and between them, they delivered their first food parcels to the Gwent Hospital on the 24th March 2020.
The parcels included some of Kevin’s handmade Holy Yolks scotch eggs, sandwiches made with bread from Pettigrew Bakery, Penylan Preserves, and cheese from Ty Caws; pizza and doughnuts from Dusty Knuckle Pizza; Glamorgan sausage bon-bons from Mr Croquewich; chocolate brownies from The Carrot Top Bakery; handmade fudge from Fwdge; soft drinks donated by Arcadian Brewing; Jones’ Crisps donated by Canna Deli, and coffee from Uncommon Ground.
Though unable to donate anything for the food parcels, staff from Penylan Pantry have been helping with food prep, and Corner Coffee sold off the last of their cakes to raise money for the collective to buy ingredients, packaging and fuel for the deliveries. This is what gave Kevin the idea to set up a Just Giving page.
“Independent food businesses across the city are under enormous pressure right now, with many of them facing an uncertain future and even struggling to make ends meet during the lockdown. But they still want to help and give their support for the NHS workers who are doing so much for us all.
By launching the Just Giving page and asking for public donations, we’ll be able to cover the cost of the ingredients that we’re using each week, so that it doesn’t have to come out of the businesses’ pockets at a time when they’re already under so much financial strain.”
Within 24 hours of the page being set up, the collective have already passed the £1,000 mark, and are now busy planning how they can scale up their efforts.
“Depending on how much we raise, we can get more independents on board to help with prep and cooking, and we can increase the number of deliveries and locations that we drop off to. We want to keep this going and get good food that is easy to eat on the go out to as many front-line NHS workers as we can.”
Kevin also said that any money which might be left over at the end of the crisis will be donated to a Coronavirus-related charity, and used to purchase tinned foods to donate to local food banks.