Sleaford restaurant boss to continue hot meals service to vulnerable for another week

When Sleaford businessman Stuart Frost and his wife Nicola decided to support vulnerable members of the community around Sleaford with hot meals over the Easter period, they could not have predicted the incredible support they wouldreceive from the local community.

The Masonic Hall on Watergate, Sleaford has opened its kitchen facilities for the hot meals service. EMN-200414-143904001
The Masonic Hall on Watergate, Sleaford has opened its kitchen facilities for the hot meals service. EMN-200414-143904001

The project is now in its second week after Stuart put his own new Casa 17 restaurant business on Westgate on hold due to the lockdown to help others more needy instead.

Using the facilities at the Sleaford Masonic Centre in Watergate, with the support of the Sleaford Masonic Building Company, Sleaford Freemasons, local businesses and Nicola’s teaching colleagues from nearby Ruskington Winchelsea School, fifty people from Sleaford and surrounding villages are being provided with a home cooked meal every day.

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All the ingredients are supplied by small businesses, some free and some at cost.

One of the notes of thanks for Stuart and the volunteers. EMN-200414-143853001

Volunteer drivers ensure that the food is delivered hot and ready to eat.

Names of those to receive meals have been put forward by Lodge members and Stuart’s contacts. He has personally telephoned each recipient to check on dietary requirements, and to ensure they are happy to receive the meals.

“Some have been in tears over the phone, they are so grateful,” said Stuart, who insisted he wanted no credit for his work. “I have just been overwhelmed by the numbers who have rallied to help, and how immensely grateful the recipients have been. It was just an idea I put on WhatsApp and it has taken off, thanks to all involved and not just me. It’s a real community effort,” he added.

The feedback that Stuart, who recently joined the Freemasons’ St Botolph’s Lodge in Sleaford, has received is truly heart-warming. They include: “Just wanted to say thank you for your splendid meals. A big thank you to you and your Freemason colleagues - not forgetting the young people that deliver them. Truly a God-send for those like me of advanced years leaving alone.”

On hold - Stuart Frost's Casa 17. EMN-200414-143841001

Another said: “A wonderful community thing you are doing. Happy Easter to you and yours, all the best.”

Another: “Just heard from my Mother in Law. The meal was great and she said lovely gravy. Thanks again and well done”

While this one said: “You have made a massive difference to so many people by doing this - not just the elderly receiving the meals, but the purpose and joy to those delivering them and the relief to relatives like me knowing my Dad is eating well every day. Huge well done all round.”

With the continued support from local businesses, Freemasons and volunteers, Stuart and Nicola have decided to continue the two-week trial period of the project for an additional week. It will have delivered 1,000 meals in total.

The first meal dished up by Stuart Frost, delivered by volunteers and getting great feed back already. EMN-200704-143757001

Through their enthusiasm, inspiration and commitment they have brought together local businesses, work colleagues, friends and Freemasons to provide a much needed and valued service in this time of need.