MORE than 2,000 meals have been delivered to people in Stroud over the past week, including 1,000 given out for free to those in desperate need.

Social enterprise initiative the Long Table prepared and delivered the healthy ready meals.

As well 1,003 paid for meals, as of 5pm on Monday, the Brimscombe-based group had also delivered 1,011 meals free of charge to those in need.

The Long Table operate a community kitchen and restaurant that serves surplus food.

They also buy other locally sourced produce when needed.

Meals and recipes are then created and prepared by local cooks and chefs.

They have been able to provide free meals as they are given ‘pay it forward’ donations from the public, with some people who have bought meals from the Long Table also purchasing meals for others in need.

Donations provided have enabled the Long Table to deliver free meals across the community, including to the elderly, and to those on low income which has got worse throughout the coronavirus crisis.

They are are also offering free meals to all the Stroud District Foodbank clients who receive vouchers.

The Long Table’s co-founder Tom Herbert said:“We’ve been overwhelmed by people’s generosity in helping us to feed our community.

“The feedback from those who have eaten the meals has made it all worth it.

“The fact that we have provided over 2,000 meals already is mindboggling and we’re only just getting started.

“We’re excited to also launch it around the county, and we would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has helped make it possible so far.”

The meals provided come in biodegradable containers, and the Long Table will continue to provide support to the community.

Operations manager Jo Mansell said: “We are going to continue to provide meals this week and we have seen the demand increase. We will then see what that looks like as the crisis reaches its third week.”

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