Cafe helps school by cooking hot meals for children in coronavirus crisis
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
A town’s new cafe is helping take the strain off its neighbouring primary school by making home-cooked meals for eligible children during the coronavirus pandemic.
Cobbler’s cafe and wine bar in Hadleigh only opened its doors six weeks ago in the town’s high street, but now it is bringing the community together at a moment of crisis by helping those in need.
The cafe, run by fiancés Faye Carfoot and Rob Wicks, has collaborated with Hadleigh Community Primary by offering to continue the free school meals to those who qualify.
They have a list of eligible children, and partners Faye and Rob prepare a range of home-cooked meals, including spaghetti bolognese, pesto pasta, sandwiches with vegetable sticks and some cakes.
Parents can then collect the meals from the cafe – which is implementing social distancing measures – or they can have it delivered if they are self-isolating.
The school pays the cafe £3 per meal, which equates to a free schools meal voucher – and offers a homely alternative for children in the area.
Speaking of the idea, Faye, 43, said: “We really wanted to help the community as I’ve got a 10-year-old and know how vital these services are.
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“Anything we can do to help is great, especially using up all the supplies we have and our fresh food.”
Faye says the coronavirus pandemic “could not have come at a worse time” as they were just getting into the swing of things.
The business says it is just trying to keep its head above the water and hopes it will be able to come out the other end.
“In such a stressful and worrying time, we should not be looking to profit but to be helping our own community wherever we can,” said Faye. “For the time-being we will be continuing what we are doing, until told otherwise by the school.”
The Hadleigh local, who is also a qualified exercise instructor and is due to marry Rob in August, said the scheme has brought her some enjoyment in this difficult time – providing around 16 children a hot meal every day.
She said: “It’s keeping us busy and it feels great to be providing kids with a hot and healthy meal.”
Happy parents have hailed the idea as “fantastic” on Facebook – with one mum saying that her son is “very much looking forward to coming to get his lunch” from the cafe.
Another said: “Cobblers this is amazing! It can’t be easy for you opening so recently and then this craziness happening, but this goes above and beyond and is so incredibly generous.”
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