Young trainee chefs delivering hot meals for the homeless
Sausage and mash, chicken curry and lasagne, rounded off with a chocolate mousse or a slice of cake are all on the menu for homeless people at Cardiff's new temporary accommodation for homeless people during the COVID-19 lockdown - and it's all being cooked by young trainee chefs at Cardiff Council's Youth Foods initiative, which was set-up in conjunction with the GMB union, to provide catering and food service training to young people not in education, employment or training.

128 people living at OYO Hotel, Cargo House and YHA are receiving two free meals a day, a main course with desert and a ‘tea pack' including a sandwich and a slice of cake.

Once the meals are prepared the Youth Foods team hand them over to council's Meals on Wheels Service for rapid delivery to three locations across the city. On arrival the food is handed over to our dedicated Hostel Services teams who are manning the new accommodation and ensuring that people staying there are properly fed and looked after.

Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, Cllr Lynda Thorne, said: "We've pulled out all the stops to make sure there's enough provision, appropriate for the current need for isolation, for all those who are homeless in the city.

"In the current situation it's more crucial than ever that individuals sleeping rough listen to our plea and come in to our accommodation, where they will be warm, dry, able to access a range of specialist support services, and thanks to our Meals on Wheels service and the young people at Youth Foods, well fed."

Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Cllr Russell Goodway, said: "The Youth Foods initiative was set up to provide important vocational training opportunities for young people who aren't currently in education, employment or training - people at risk of being left behind even as Cardiff's economy grows."

"Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, they have provided 1,143 hot meals and 1,590 sandwich meals to the city's homeless community, feeding some of Cardiff's most vulnerable citizens but, at the same time, gaining important skills which will ensure they can prosper in the jobs market in the future."

Cabinet Member for Social Care, Health & Well-being Cllr Susan Elsmore, said: "It's such a fantastic example of how different teams and services across the Council are working together in new ways to help us respond to this emergency. Even in normal times our Meals on Wheels service is a real lifeline for its customers but in this situation it's a genuinely frontline service and the team are doing a great job working for Cardiff to get food to those in need."