Chatsworth will be providing more than 1,200 freshly prepared ready meals to a Derbyshire food bank in the run up to Christmas to help support families in crisis.
Every week, 150 of the family favourite recipes created by the Chatsworth chefs are being delivered to the Jigsaw Food Bank. Operated by Church in the Peak, the food bank serves communities across Derbyshire and the Peak District.
More than 4,000 meals have already been provided to those in need since the initiative began earlier this year. Chatsworth initially contacted the food bank looking to donate produce unlikely to be used in its restaurants due to the lockdown. The chefs swung into action after finding out good quality ready meals would make a real difference to the people being referred to the food bank for help.
Since April, chefs in Chatsworth’s Carriage House Café kitchen, who usually prepare meals for visitors, began cooking a range of ready meals for those in need. The meals are then frozen and donated to the food bank in Matlock.
On the menu are family favourites developed by the Chatsworth Estate Farm Shop including cottage pie made with local beef, lasagne, macaroni cheese and mushroom and leek risotto, to name just a few.
Head of catering Chris Bailey-Jones said: “Being able to provide a service that plays to the strengths of our team at such a challenging time has been wonderful. We’ve all felt that by taking a little extra time in our working week we’ve been able to do something that really makes a difference to the local community.”
The meals are delivered weekly to the Jigsaw Food Bank which provides food to individuals and families in the local community who find themselves in a crisis situation.
The ready meals initiative is made possible with funding from Chatsworth alongside personal contributions from a number of individuals at Chatsworth. The Chatsworth Estate is represented on the Devonshire Group community forum. Chaired by Lord Burlington, son of the Duke of Devonshire, this group-wide forum was set up at the start of the Covid pandemic to reach out and support local communities.
Andrew Lavery, Chief Executive of the Chatsworth House Trust and Chief Financial Officer for the Devonshire Group, said: “As part of our commitment to our shared future we have been looking at how we can work with our local communities, and also help in the fight against the coronavirus. Donating to the food bank to help support families in these difficult times is important and we hope to continue this throughout the winter months.”
A large number of charitable organisations are supported by the Devonshire Group through donations of money, items and complimentary tickets, and by offering savings on commercial rates. In 2019, charitable giving across the Devonshire Group amounted to £334,452.