FOR nearly 20 years, the Marah Trust has been serving up free, nutritious meals three times a week, to homeless, vulnerable and disadvantaged people.

The sessions take place at the Stroud Valley Scouting and Community Centre in Chapel Street on Mondays and Wednesdays, from 1pm to 2.30pm, and at Stroud Baptist Hall on Saturdays, also from 1pm to 2.30pm.

While they eat, guests enjoy a warm welcome and sense of community, and can access vital services and support.

But with the Covid-19 outbreak, Marah’s members knew they’d have to make changes.

So this week, Marah has moved to a grab-and-go model, providing hot meals in takeaway containers.

Michael Athienites, drop-in manager at Marah, said: “To reduce the risk to all, we will for the time being operate as a takeaway only service.

“Unfortunately this does mean we won’t be able to serve drinks or provide a space for people to stay and mingle.

“For some of our clients, our sessions may be one of the few times in the week they interact with people.

“So it’s disappointing for us to have to cut out the social aspect, but under the circumstances we’ve had to do so.

“The service Marah provides is very much needed by the community and we will continue to provide it as best we can for the people who rely on us for food and assistance in this difficult time.”

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If you are concerned about someone sleeping rough, visit:, or call 0300 500 0914.