Pub offers free meals to help Ottery households in need
- Credit: Balfour Arms
A pub landlady is offering free meals to people in Ottery who have been hit hard by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Debi Potter, who runs the Balfour Arms in Sidmouth, is expanding the community free meals service she launched at the start of the first lockdown last March.
The pub already runs a home delivered meals service for paying customers and now Debi has decided that when they are delivering paid-for meals to Ottery, they will also deliver free meals to struggling households.
She explained: “We deliver meals in the evenings currently and decided that when we are going to Ottery to serve a customer we could also take a hot meal to someone in need. We’ll offer anything that’s hot and nourishing. So far we’ve delivered fish and chips, gammon steaks and Sunday roasts.”
The free meals have been available to people in Sidmouth since the first lockdown and the Balfour Arms also provides free school meals to children in need.
Debi explained: “We provide free packed lunches for children every day. Today we did 22. Staff have volunteered to come in and make the meals for the kids. It’s been brilliant.”
She praised the outpouring of community goodwill that has supported the pub’s initiative.
- 1 It's our time to share our fortune and 'do our bit' as we start to re-open
- 2 Hayman's Butchers 'had been my life' - Stewart Hayman
- 3 Postie raises £6K for charity by walking 100 miles
- 4 Town is spruced up as excitement is in the air for future
- 5 The more we work together the better it will be
- 6 Claire leaves political spotlight
- 7 Further improvements for Sidmouth Town FC
- 8 Show of Art set to captivate Kennaway House visitors
- 9 Sidmouth garden show to take place as lockdown eases
- 10 Golfing season underway at Sidmouth GC
“The community has been amazing. People have contributed a lot to help us maintain this service. Lidl have given us weekly donations and we’ve also had donations from Spar and Sainsbury’s – as well as from local residents.
“It has been a super effort, quite humbling in fact. To see people coming together to help eachother has been amazing.
“One of our elderly customers had a small kitchen fire and lost the use of her microwave. It was her lifeline. But a local retailer replaced it free of charge.”
Deb added: “People have had time on their hands because they have been locked down and they have seen the problems and the despair caused by the pandemic. So I think that made them want to help others and do their bit.”
If you are struggling to make ends meet and would like to see if the Balfour Arms can help, you can call the pub on 01395 513443.