A CATERER from Bishop Auckland is trying her best to get as many meals to the elderly and key workers as possible.

Kimberley Clark, who runs Kim’s Kitchen, is usually cooking for local establishments and children’s birthday cakes, but since the lockdown she has adapted. The panic buyers in the shops made it hard for Mrs Clark to get the ingredients needed, so she had to temporarily close her business.

However, that did not stop her from taking to her kitchen to cook for those in need.

She said: “I’m not good at not working, I need to do something, so I decided to started to prepared food to help our elderly neighbours. It stops me going stir crazy and helps the business."

The offer of free meals was then extended to NHS and other key workers.

Mrs Clark added: “A little thank you to them – they can get a meal in their downtime. As the nurses in the NHS and our key workers are in amongst it and need recognition, this is one of the ways the community can start recognising their work."

Mrs Clark has set herself a high target to create 10,000 meals before the lockdown ends. She has already cooked nearly 2,000 since the lockdown began, producing nearly 100 meals a day, but she is not shying away from the challenge.

She said: “I think the number is possible. I just enjoy doing it, if I can make one person smile a day then I am happy – fingers crossed I can continue with the help of the community.”

Mrs Clark was running out of ingredients and, after a post on Facebook requesting donations, she has received all sorts of produce from flour to icing sugar. She has placed a safe box outside her home for donations to be left in.

She has been helped by friends Sarah Linsley-Patton and Olivia Seagreave, along with her sister Claire Burt who have been out of work due to the lockdown but are committing their time to helping deliver the food safely and collecting ingredients.

Food is delivered three days a week with one day set for elderly, one for NHS hospitals at Bishop Auckland, Durham and Darlington, and a day for key workers like the police and fire crews.

The team have delivered Easter eggs – donated by Explorers children’s Nursery Bear in Toft Hill – to care homes in Bishop Auckland, giving elderly a treat for the weekend.

Mrs Clark said: “The generosity of people has been amazing. So many people have messaged me to say thank you, it’s been phenomenal.”