A dedicated team of kitchen staff from a London casino have hit the jackpot after cooking and donating free meals to charity with 25,000 delivered across the capital.
A team of seven from Grosvenor Casinos Russell Square have worked tirelessly since April 2020 to prep, cook and individually pack more than 25,000 free meals to help feed vulnerable people and families in communities across London.
Working alongside local charities and organisations such as The Salvation Army, Help the Aged, Only A Pavement Away and the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit Team at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, the casino’s kitchen team have cooked freshly prepared meals seven days a week to deliver to those in need.
Operating as a community kitchen hub has enabled the casino located in Russell Square to rise to the challenge of the pandemic and join its fellow venues across the UK to collectively deliver almost 100,000 free meals across England and Scotland. Grosvenor Casinos Russell Square has continued to provide this service and support their charity partners following reopening.
46-year-old Mohammed Shaik from East London is the Head Chef at Grosvenor Casinos Russell Square and has been a real driving force for the initiative. Working closely with his team Shaik prepares up to 50 meals a day for the initiative and takes great pride in helping the local community.
Speaking about the initiative, he said: “It feels amazing to be able to work with my team on such a rewarding and worthwhile project. Providing those who need it with a hot meal goes a long way and we’ve had lots of lovely thank you messages from the charities and organisations we’ve worked with over the past 18 months.”
Cooking a simple menu of hot tasty meals such as delicious cheeseburgers and chips, chicken and mushroom casserole and vegetable madras curry, the team package the food individually for delivery staff from each local charity to collect on a daily basis.
As a thank you to the brave key workers the kitchen staff have also donated meals to the NHS nurses at local hospitals and to the police, ambulance teams and fire brigades who have kept the country going.
Jerry Lewis, General Manager at Grosvenor Casino Russell Square, said: “It has been a difficult time for everyone in the community but working with our charity partners to cook and deliver more than 25,000 free meals really is the jackpot for the team and a real testament to everyone’s commitment to the cause.
“We’re proud of all the kitchen team and the delivery staff’s efforts who continue to go above and beyond to support this initiative which is being delivered by Grosvenor Casinos Russell Square’s Community Kitchen”
Greg Mangham, Founder of charity partner Only A Pavement Away, said: “When we started our Hospitality Against Homelessness campaign the aim was to help get food and drink supplies into the rough sleepers who had been placed into hostels. This was only made possible by companies like Grosvenor supporting our campaign.
“As a charity we’re overwhelmed by the generosity and support we received from Jerry and his team. What started as a few meals grew into a lifeline for those suffering hardship. Every time Grosvenor Casinos were asked to help they just kept on giving. We are proud to have them as a partner and can never thank them enough.”