A Dundee takeaway boss has reached out to Abertay students placed on lockdown, by delivering 50 free pizzas to the Parker House residents.
Kenneth Boylan, who owns Mr Food in St Andrew’s Street in the city centre, decided to take the Margherita pizzas to the student halls last night, after seeing messages on the windows from some residents, including “bring food”.
Around 500 people at the accommodation were ordered to quarantine following the positive Covid-19 test of student Euan Lee.
Kenneth, who took over the premises in January and opened in March, said: “I was working last night, and I did a delivery and was going up Lochee Road.
“I just looked at the signs and saw some of the messages on the windows of the student halls.
“I’d obviously heard about the lockdown, them being in isolation. So, when I got back to the takeaway, my son-in-law Paddy Brown was helping me last night, and he said he’d seen it on Facebook.”
Paddy, 27, who lives with Kenneth’s daughter Leigh, said he had seen a post on the social media site, which showed messages pleading for food, drink, and other items.
Kenneth continued: “I said to him that it was a shame; for some of these kids it will be the first time they’ve been away from home, they might not have lived out of their own town before, or away from their parents.
“It kept playing on my mind, and I thought, ‘I wouldn’t like to think of any of my daughter’s being in that position’.
“They can’t all go to their mums and dads, they might be able to reach them on social media but they’re not actually there in person.
“Some of them are probably foreigners as well, which would make it worse, being in another country.
“A lot of them will be teenagers, just out of school. They’ve probably come to Dundee, they’re happy, they’re at university thinking ‘this is great’, then all of a sudden they’re locked down in a room for two weeks.
“I just thought it was just a shame for these kids, and one of the pictures said ‘send food’, and I thought that it must be really difficult, because some might not know where the shops are if they’re from a different town or country – and they’re locked in a room for two weeks’.”
Kenneth and Paddy discussed what food they could make quickly and easily to donate to the students, and decided on Margherita pizzas, using up “all the spare dough” available in the kitchen.
The 54-year-old, who formerly ran two pubs in the city, estimates they made 50 pizzas before setting off to the student halls.
“I was rolling the dough onto trays, Paddy was putting the sauce on and the cheese and putting them in to cook, then I was putting them in a box, kept them hot then put them in Just Eat bags to keep them warm and in the car.
“We got there and I just asked the security guys if they could give them to the students, on behalf of Mr Food, and they thanked us.
“I wasn’t sure what cooking facilities they have up there so I thought this would help them out – at least for a night.
“I just think in these strange times we’re living in, we all need to pitch in and help each other, and show a bit of community spirit.”