Despite losing business due to the lockdown the Liverpool catering firm has now transformed its operation to deliver meals to vulnerable people across the North West. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool caterer Relish is delivering thousands of meals to vulnerable people across the North West during the coronavirus crisis.
Relish usually supplies restaurants and caters for big events but, similar to most companies in the hospitality sector, it has seen business nosedive since the lockdown was imposed on March 23.
However, the team, led by managing director Chris Foulkes has endeavoured to turn a negative to a positive by pivoting its operations to provide nutritious meals to vulnerable people in Merseyside, Lancashire, Cheshire and Greater Manchester.
Operating from a 12,000 sq ft preparation kitchen and central operations hub, Relish can provide 5,000 pre-prepared meals per day and use its own fleet of catering vans to deliver to charities, schools, community centres, homeless shelters, housing associations, care facilities and hospitals.
Since launching the initiative, Relish has already produced more than 5,000 meals for those in need, working in partnership with Liverpool 6 Community Association and with Lord Mayor Anna Rothery to distribute meals across the city of Liverpool.
To ensure the service is accessible to those who need it most, Relish is offering food and drink at half its usual price and will only be covering the cost of what it takes to produce and deliver, with their staff volunteering their time to ensure that the operation runs smoothly.
The company also has plans to deliver £2,000 worth of meals to food banks and charities over the coming weeks. Relish also has the space and capacity to store and supply essential goods such as toilet rolls, soap, sanitiser, toothpaste, milk, bread, eggs, tea, coffee, detergent and more to distribute upon request.
Mr Foulkes said: “Relish is Liverpool born and bred, our staff are local, and we’ve always believed in investing in the local economy and supporting our communities and businesses wherever possible.
“These are extremely challenging times for all of us but they’re especially tough for the elderly, disabled, pregnant, the vulnerable and, of course, for those who work in the NHS, social care and other key organisations.
“We wanted to adapt our services to create an offering that can help to take some of the pressure off our hospitals, care homes, social housing groups and keep them functioning during this period.”