‘Not a week goes by when we don’t run out of food and money’: Family of six’s moving thank you to charity

An East London family stricken by poverty has expressed thanks and gratitude to a charity for feeding them during hard times.

Catherine and her family live in Poplar, Tower Hamlets. Like many across the capital, the family of six has been dealing with the effects of hunger and food shortage and has looked to others for support.

Catherine said: “Life has been so hard for us over the past year – there isn’t a week that goes by when we don’t run out of food and money and, by Thursday, we are scrapping meals together out of nothing.”

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Thankfully, a charitable foundation reached out to provide food and support. The Thomas Franks Foundation was set up by a catering company during the pandemic to support NHS staff, key workers and vulnerable people of all ages.

The charity was set up by contract caterer Thomas Franks, which experienced a drop in demand for its usual services during last year’s lockdown.

The team behind the charity decided it would instead use its skills and supplies to provide free meals to those who needed them.

Catherine and her family often had to worry about where the next meal would come from

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the foundation has now provided more than one million fresh, healthy and nutritious meals and fruit hampers to people across the UK, Malta and Portugal.

In fact, Catherine and her family received the one millionth meal that the charity ever provided.

Catherine’s family were assisted when the foundation teamed up with Miracles UK, a charity that supports children and families living in poverty.

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Catherine and her family can’t thank the foundation enough for their support

“Thank you so much for the kindness and support from Feed London and Thomas Franks,” Catherine said.

“The support we have received has been wonderful, and really helped us get through some tough times.

“To be selected for the one millionth meal was so exciting – we had such a wonderful meal last night and the donation will go a long way.”

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Some of the team with the food packages

Frank Bothwell, founder of the Thomas Franks Foundation, said: “We are incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved in such a short amount of time.

“Our 1,000,000 free fresh meals have played a small part in keeping people going, through what has been an incredibly tough year – particularly for our brilliant key workers and those who can’t always afford to put meals on their own table.

“We couldn’t have done this on our own though and we’re grateful for all the generous donations and support from our partners, staff, volunteers, clients and the public.”

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James Burton, Miracles Project Director, added: “The Thomas Franks team has been fantastic to work with over the last year. They’ve produced so many fresh, healthy meals for those who need them and we’re so grateful for their support.

“We’d like to congratulate them on reaching this phenomenal milestone.”

If you’ve been affected by a similar story, feel free to email [email protected] to have your voice heard.

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