Acts of kindness to help those most in need is what community spirit is all about, says pub owner Mandy Miller.
An Aberdeen publican is calling on businesses across the city and Shire to help her feed 50 families in need every week.
Mandy Miller, who runs Fittie Bar near the harbour, will launch the new service on Thursday to help those in need by giving away free sandwiches and soup for lunch to 50 different families.
Recruiting numerous volunteer delivery drivers to help transport the food those who need it every Thursday for the next month, Mandy hopes her act of kindness can inspire other publicans and restaurateurs to get involved in the initiative which will help others who need the support just now.
Feeding 50 families
Having owned the pub for seven years, Mandy will work on her own to produce lunch for the families which will include soup, sandwiches and a goodie bag for the children.
The bags of food will then be delivered between noon and 3pm to families across the region.
She said: “When lockdown first started last year I did various raffles to raise money for local foodbanks. I was kind of involved with the foodbanks and seeing what kind of food was going out. The idea came to me after thinking: ‘What is it to make a soup and a sandwich for someone?’.
“I started off with soup and a sandwich and want to see how that goes and maybe then I’ll make some mince and tatties or macaroni. We’re going to do it for a month and see how things go.
“I know I’m going to be very busy as I’m doing everything on my own. A lot of people have been asking if they can come and give me a hand to cook, but because of Covid-19 restrictions, I don’t want anyone else coming in.
“It is a lot of work by myself but I’ve got plenty of drivers who are going to deliver them. We’re organising a little goodie bag for the kids as well with a carton of sugar-free juice, a piece of fruit and a wee sweetie pick ‘n’ mix.
“It’s just who I am, I’m too kind-hearted.”
Calling on other businesses
Looking for support from other businesses in the area, Mandy knows she cannot provide free lunches to those in need every day of the week, and is hoping her kind gesture encourages others to get involved and help out on other days of the week.
She will also provide families with more than they need for one day so that if needed, the food may last that little bit longer.
She added: “I can’t do it every day of the week, but I hope maybe other people will get involved and choose a different day to help so that we can help these people. Maybe someone else could do the Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Maybe they’ll see what I am doing and want to help out, too.
“I’m going to support 50 families. It doesn’t matter if they are a family of two or six, I’ll do 50. It won’t be one portion per person, if it’s a family of four I’d give them six portions of soup with different flavours. Everything will be homemade and the sandwiches will be a good selection, too. It might even do them a few days rather than just one.
“I’ve worked really hard over lockdown with deliveries and collections and I just hope other businesses who can make a pot of soup and some sandwiches and can help, maybe do come on board. If they do have time and that wee bit money that they can spare, maybe they could donate to people.”
For those in need
Launching a delivery service during the pandemic, Mandy says delivering the food to the families’ doors is the safest way for everyone to receive the lunches and is grateful to those who are able to help her out.
She has been inundated with requests from people and has had lots of families nominated to be included in the lunchtime drop-offs, too.
“I just thought with the amount of people struggling and some elderly people not being able to get out I just thought ‘I’m going to do this’,” Mandy said.
“I never publicise anything about the Fittie Bar, I just want to help. Anyone who knows me will say I’ll never make money in my life because I’m always giving anything I have away. I just want to do something for the community. I know lots of people who have kids who are struggling with homeschooling and Covid in general.
Hi everyone very emotional day and sleepless night for me hearing many struggling family story’s, thanks for all the bag donations, and to all struggling families don’t be ashamed to ask for help.❤️🌈
“I’ve got loads of people already and it is mainly people who have nominated people and then I have contacted them directly. I want people to not be embarrassed or scared to ask. We’ve also had a lot of single parents with children and elderly people get in touch too. People can message us on Facebook if they want to find out more or let us know how we can help them.
“It will go over 50 for sure. The amount of people who have messaged me to say that there’s no way I will be able to stop at 50. I’m going to do it for a month and the kids will get something different every week. Their goodie bags are really to help cheer them up.
“I’m funding this all myself and haven’t taken any donations. The only thing I have asked for is carrier bags and I’ve already had 300 dropped off in one day. Because I’m doing a lot of meals and keeping everything clean and separate, I want to make sure it looks good and is easy to transport. Everything will be sanitised and all of the drivers will pick up the meals from a table outside where we have a hatch. The bags won’t be named. We’ll run this between noon and 3pm every Thursday.”
For anyone struggling, they can message the Fittie Bar Facebook page or call the bar on 01224 582911.