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Frozen food retailer Cook in Bishop's Stortford looking to provide free meals to a good cause as part of Cook Kindness Fund

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A retailer which believes in helping the community wants to find a group or organisation whose members would benefit from great food for free.

Cook, of North Street in Bishop's Stortford, is looking for a suitable good cause it can partner with to provide up to 30 free frozen ready meals a week for a six-week period during this year.

The national company, based in Kent, started putting aside free meals in its shops in March 2020 for customers looking after vulnerable neighbours as the country entered the first lockdown.

These random acts of kindness grew into the Cook Kindness Fund, with the goal of donating 100,000 meals and treats to those most in need during the pandemic in the communities around its shops and kitchens.

The Stortford shop, which is owned by franchisee Marcus Farthing and has been open for eight years, has already worked with the Rotary Club of Bishop's Stortford and Stansted Day Centre over the last two years.

And with the Kindness Fund having now been made a permanent part of the company's plan, the Stortford store wants to find a partner to support. Assistant manager Sarah Willett is leading its community engagement initiative.

From left, Tracey Townley-Ware, assistant manager Sarah Willett and Jenny Hill at Cook in Bishop's Stortford (56959033)
From left, Tracey Townley-Ware, assistant manager Sarah Willett and Jenny Hill at Cook in Bishop's Stortford (56959033)

It also has a Community Kitchen Discount Scheme, offering 30% off food for any local community event for 20 people or more.

"We believe that nothing brings people together like good food," said Farthing. "We've provided food for school events, sports clubs, churches, charity fundraising, quiz nights and events run by groups such as the WI and Rotary Club.

"We support any community group that needs good food for lots of people and it would be great to identify other events in and around Stortford."

Nationally, Cook also set aside a further 50,000 meals for people in need in the run up to Christmas 2020 and, a year into the pandemic, had given away almost 200,000 meals via hospitals, care homes, food banks and community groups to help those struggling due to the Covid-19 crisis.

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