Our response to COVID-19 pandemic: how we helped our local community

Weekly Donated Meals

Total Meals Donated

Total Monetary Value Donated (£)

The effects that Covid-19 and the lockdowns it brought with it, had on the hospitality industry have been well documented and Relish was no exception to these issues. With our usual operations coming to a grinding halt, we quickly shifted our priorities and changed our business model to be solely based on helping as opposed to being profit driven, We couldn’t be happier with what we achieved thanks to these changes.
The absence of events such as weddings and Xmas parties has left all of our calendars looking a little bare for the past year, for catering firms like ourselves this led to several obvious issues. This lack of events gave us one commodity in spades; time. Our catering services weren’t needed for months and we didn’t know what to do with ourselves! Our directors Chris Foulkes and Kiara Mako had previously said that they wanted Relish to be a business with a heart and sense of community and this was their opportunity to achieve just that.

We decided to focus all of our efforts on helping the local community. We all know how difficult the past 12 months have been for everyone but some families in Liverpool were hit especially hard. We worked with various different initiatives to begin with, notably The Hungry Must Be Fed project and the L6 Community association with Lord Mayor Anna Rothery. This eventually led to us finding our long term charity partner.

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“We’ve been working alongside their dedicated team of volunteers to deliver hundreds of prepared meals and supplies across the region to those who need them. Their seven-day meal plan consists of a soup for lunch and a main meal for the evening, and it’s all of a really high standard to ensure that recipients are getting a nutritious, well-balanced meal for each day of the week. It’s great that they’re able to support on a large-scale, ensuring that essential businesses, healthcare and housing organisations can continue to operate effectively and keep both their staff and patients fed.”

– Anna Rothery, Lord Mayor of Liverpool.

At Relish we have had the privilege of building a collaborative partnership with Everton in the Community, the official charity of Everton Football Club who deliver a range of programmes to promote health, education, social inclusion and equality of opportunity to over 30,000 participants every year across Merseyside and North Wales. Just in case you were unaware, they are amazing!

By the time Autumn had arrived we had already donated over 8,000 meals to the local community; but we still wanted to do more. 2,200 half term lunches donated to local children in October, but that still wasn’t enough so the decision was made to take it a step further by donating a further 500 meals a week, equating to a total of 11,000 meals with a total monetary value of £50,000. Our healthy, locally sourced, chef prepared meals were delivered to those most in-need in Walton, Anfield, Everton and Kirkdale, as well as local community groups including Walton Youth Project, Positive Futures, Joseph Lappin Centre, Opening Doors Project and Rotunda and Kirkdale Boxing Club to name a few.

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We couldn’t have done all of this without the hard work of our amazing team and the help of Everton in the Community Neighbourhood Manager Sarah Atherton. Sarah has been instrumental in this project throughout lockdown and we can’t thank her enough for the work she and her team have been doing for the local community and assisting us whenever we need it.

“This donation has made a significant difference in feeding our local young people aged 5-19 during October half-term. All beneficiaries attend wider EitC projects and come from some of the most-in-need families within the Blue Mile. Everyone has been delighted with the meals they have received and this has alleviated a large amount of financial pressure on their families. We are so very grateful to the team at Relish for their continued support.”.

– Sarah Atherton, Everton in the Community Neighbourhood Manager

The relationship between Relish and Everton stretches beyond the Blue Family initiative. We are the official caterer to Everton Women’s team and the exclusive caterer for The Royal Liver Building, the home of Everton’s headquarters. We are very proud to be associated with such a prestigious institution within Liverpool (even if Chris is a Red).

This is a charity that we at Relish believe in wholeheartedly and we feel privileged to help with our food donations. Everton in the Community has always been a large part of the Relish DNA with co-founder and co-CEO Chris’ father Bobby being a participant of the charity’s Pass on the Memories programme for over five years, time that Bobby and the whole family were extraordinarily grateful for, sadly Bobby passed due to COVID-19 but had very fond memories of his time with EITC. The family connection has developed even further since then as Chris and Kiara’s children helped prepare the first food donations during the first lockdown. As a result of all of this, Chris and Kiara had the pleasure of meeting Carlo Ancelotti, over a virtual meeting organised by the wonderful people at Everton in the Community, who personally thanked them for all of their hard work and the support they have provided for the charity.
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We are so thankful to have been involved in this project and working alongside such a fantastic charity. The work that Relish has been doing has allowed our team to evolve in the most difficult period we have had to face as a business and it has also had a huge impact on Chris and Kiara’s family and the local community. We love to see the significance that our donations have made to families in the area and are excited to continue to support Everton in the Community however we can.
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