An Arbroath chef who wanted to “even out his karma” has dished out 7,000 meals to vulnerable people during lockdown.
Connor Taylor, a chef by trade, started providing free meals for people from his uncles kitchen in early April – and on his first day amassed 1,600 members.
Now Frontline Food has grown to include a second chef, James “Beezer” Bell, as well as 13 delivery drivers, admin staff and a treasurer.
The service provides cost-effective food including gluten and dairy free soups as well as items such as stovies, pasta and casseroles.
Connor, 26, explained that he started providing the service to try and earn some “good karma”.
He said: “I’ve got a bad history with drugs and alcohol, so this is just me trying my best to even out my karma. I love cooking.”
The service, which launched six weeks ago, is now available six days a week and has had a high level of interest.
“Within two hours about 40 people had contacted me,” Connor said.
“In the first day we had 1,600 members, it was mental. My phone wouldn’t stop. It completely blew up, I never thought it would get as big as it has.”
The Frontline team, along with help from local charity Reach Across, have sent out over 7,200 meals to front line workers, as well as elderly and vulnerable people in the local community.
Connor, who is on furlough from his job as a grill chef with Brewers Fayre, said: “I started this out the kitchen in my own house but environmental health got in touch saying we had to change the site.”
The team then relocated to James Street Baptist Church and have been cooking from there ever since.
“It gives me purpose every day,” he said.
“There are only so many times you can do your garden, tidy your house. I get a good feeling from it. It has been such a good community experience, for people helping one another.
Connor added he wanted to thank his uncle who he was living with when he started providing the free meals, he said: “I wouldn’t have been able to start this without him.”
He added: “Thank you to everyone at Frontline for all their help and support, and thank you to Sandra from Reach Across. The only reason we are still going now is because she managed to get funding.
“I’d also like to give thanks to the church – they are letting us use the facilities absolutely free.
“So many people have wanted to get involved and I want to thank everyone for the donations and support.”
Connor added that the service would continue until lockdown ends.
If you live in Arbroath and would like to get in touch, contact Frontline Food on their Facebook page.