Since lockdown began, the Rochdale Soup Kitchen has been delivering well over 1,000 meals to vulnerable families in the borough each week.
The Soup Kitchen is part of the Homelessness Network Food Delivery Service, supported by the council, comprised of the Sanctuary Trust, the Bond Board, Angie’s Angels, and several other local charities.
Supported by the Rochdale Freemasons society and The Summit Inn in Littleborough, the soup kitchen has been able to send out food parcels to those in need across Rochdale. Chris Jay, landlord of The Summit, has generously been cooking meals twice a week for the service to deliver, using ingredients donated by the Freemasons on a weekly basis.
Whilst Chris has been busy creating scores of meals for those in need, he has been joined by his daughter, who has been baking cakes to distribute.
Food produced by Chris Jay, landlord of The Summit, and his family for the soup kitchen
His partner, Lyn Jackson added: “We’re so passionate about helping people; we’re pleased to be open. So many people have come together in their own time to do so much. The whole community should be proud.”
Former Woman of Rochdale, Marilyn Jones, who started the soup kitchen in 2013 from the back of a car with Vida Slater, said: “We are really pleased to have this support, and we can’t thank the Freemasons enough for everything they’ve done for us thus far. For the past few years, we have had a great deal of support from the local Freemasons.”
As lockdown restrictions ease, the soup kitchen hopes to resume providing its service from its usual Champness Hall premises, using a trailer which has been acquired by the Freemasons.
Marilyn added: “We hope to resume for the service user group we were previously helping before the pandemic, albeit modified to comply with social distancing. That’s where the trailer comes in.
“The Freemasons are going to try to kit it out so our volunteers will be able to hand out food parcels from there without the need for anyone having to enter the building.”
If you think you can help in any way to get the trailer up and running, please contact Chris Jay on 07862 231145.