Hotel donates surplus food to local people who need it most

The Old Hall owner Alison Morbey and head chef Billy Balaam with Andrew Birley from Cambridge Sustainable Food

The Old Hall owner Alison Morbey and head chef Billy Balaam with Andrew Birley from Cambridge Sustainable Food - Credit: THE OLD HALL ELY

An Ely hotel and wedding venue donated surplus party food to a company that supports local people suffering from food poverty after the Omicron variant resulted in a number of last-minute cancellations. 

With the food already having had been ordered, The Old Hall owner Alison Morbey couldn’t stand the thought of it going to waste and wanted to help those who needed it most by donating to Cambridge Sustainable Food. 

Based just outside of Ely, the company prepared portions of pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon, Chicken breast and of course, Christmas pudding to be reheated and distributed those in need over the festive period. 

Alison said: “We completely understand that some people felt unable to attend their planned parties this year.  

“The Omicron variant wasn’t around when many people initially booked their parties, and of course the stricter guidelines for isolation would’ve been detrimental to many businesses if their staff were unable to work. 

“We implemented stricter measures to protect guests and staff but unfortunately that reassurance wasn’t enough and some parties felt the risk was too high, particularly those in the health care sector. 

“However, as we had already ordered the food for the guests, we couldn’t see it go to waste. 

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“We were put in contact with Cambridge Sustainable Food, a local community support group helping those in food poverty. 

“They rely on donations to ensure everyone in our community gets the support they need. We emailed their friendly team to let them know what we had and someone got in touch right away to arrange collection.  

“We’d like to say you thank you to the volunteers, we are very conscious about all of our waste, including food and are delighted we have found an outlet to help us work towards eliminating our food waste.  

“We intend to continue to support the group going forward and would encourage all other local hospitality venues to do the same rather than let any food go to waste when people need it now more than ever.’ 

Cambridge Sustainable Food is coordinating the emergency food provision efforts in the city in partnership with Cambridge Food Poverty Alliance.