LISTEN: Judith Dingwall explains how the free meals is being organised
The Pitlochry and Moulin COVID Support group is offering free meals for schoolchildren as part of a partnership with ‘The Plaice To Be’ fish and chip shop.
School children, aged primary and up, are welcome to go to the fish shop on Friday lunchtime and pick up a takeaway covered by the support group on their supporters.
Judith Dingwall, an organiser for the support group, said: “We’re actually copy catting something that’s been done in a fish and chip shop in Stonehaven called the Carron Fish Bar, who for the last four weeks have offered free lunches to school children.
“And the community support group have been fish suppers to the older members of the community throughout the pandemic and we thought it was a good idea to offer it to families and children.
“On the actual day, the families are being encouraged to walk to the chip shop, find their place in the queue and Hugh will be working like a demon behind the counter frying and serving.”
The team will also have volunteers ready to help make sure people are socially distancing outside of the shop.
Hugh Foster, who runs ‘The Plaice To Be’, is helping contribute by offering the meals to the support group at a reduced price.
For school children, he’s offering a child’s portion of sausages, fish, nuggets and chips.
Any adults looking to order something for themselves should phone ahead on: 01796 473737
But the support for the meals has come from lots of different people and organisations coming together to help.
Judith Dingwall explained: “We’ve been really, really, fortunate, we’ve been given some support and funding, Bruce Patterson has been busy sourcing that.
“But also, throughout the community we’ve had some lovely donations and we’ve always kept ourselves ticking over with the donations affording us to offer our next service.
“To me it’s a bit like the loaves and the fishes’ story, as soon as you start offering and providing something, other people chip in and it’s a shared cost for the community.”
And this is just one of the ways the support group is looking out for Pitlochry’s community during the pandemic.
They’ve organised burns suppers, fish and chip runs and offer a phoneline that’s ready to help anyone with difficulty from the pandemic.
Judith Dingwall added: “We’ve done so different many things, from offering a safe space to meet for a cup of tea in Moulin hall through the summer last year.
“To delivering fish and chips, to a burns supper that we delivered back in January, which was very successful, to the phone lings being open for anyone who needs advice or help locally.
“Just spreading the word that help is here and people are not isolated and alone.”