'We wanted to do something good' - campaign to feed Wakefield's most vulnerable people raises £3,000 in a week
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Chris Hale has run catering company Pop Up North for more than three years, and has now adapted his business to help those in need during the coronavirus crisis.
Working with local charities and churches, he has devised a scheme to deliver meals to dozens of people across Wakefield.
Former Masterchef contestant Chris says that a donation of £5 will allow the team to cook, freeze and deliver two meals to a person in need.
He said: “About a month ago every event got cancelled or postponed, so we stopped and thought ‘how can we do what we do, and do some good at the same time?’
“There’s so many people who don’t fall into that really vulnerable category but can’t go out. There’s lots of restaurants doing takeaway but they can be expensive and it’s not sustainable.
“We make them fresh and freeze them down so it’s all microwavable.
“For me the more money we raise the more people we can help and the longer we can sustain it.”
The Pop Up North team are now working alongside charity Community Awareness Programme (CAP) and local churches to identify those who will benefit from the meals.
Their GoFundMe page, which was launched last week, has already raised more than £3,000, or enough to fund a day of food for more than 600 people.
But the team are working to ensure that the project is a long-term lifeline for those in need, and aim to offer people food for several weeks at a time, rather than acting as an occasional or one-off service.
Chris said: “We launched last Saturday night so it has been eight days.
“We’ve got two full-time staff members and my business partner. We’ve got a commercial kitchen and we’re just using that and doing it there.”
They are also allowing the public to pay for access to the service and collect their meals from one of a number of collection points, at a cost of £15 for six meals over three days.