In early March 2020 we started putting aside free meals in our shops for customers looking after vulnerable neighbours. These Random Acts of Kindness grew into the COOK Kindness Fund, with the goal of donating 100,000 COOK meals and treats to those most in need during the pandemic in the communities around our shops and kitchens.
We reached our initial target we in June 2020 and in the run up to Christmas set aside a further 50,000 meals for local people in need. As of March 2021, we had given away approaching 200,000 meals working with hospitals, care homes, food banks and local community groups to help those struggling due to the Covid-19 crisis.
From April 2021, we are making the Kindness Fund a permanent part of our work to nourish communities wherever we operate. Each of our shops will be working with a local partner or partners to distribute up to 30 free meals each week.
Most shops have established partnerships but if you would like to propose a new organisation we might work with, please scroll down and fill out the form on the link.
Paul Huxley, G-Force, Altrincham: “COOK Wilmslow has been so generous in helping us feed 60+ isolated elderly people. Your food feeds the body and the soul, it’s real comfort food that makes people feel happy during some very difficult times.”
Dan McAlpine, City Harvest, London: "The meals we’ve had from the COOK Kindness Fund have been a huge help. We feel that people in our community are now more aware of the big difference a small act of kindness can make and we hope this continues."
Fran Newman, Christ Church, Banstead: “Thank you so much for setting up and allowing us to take part in the Cook Kindness Fund. We have a weekly delivery 'round' of checking in on people, whether they are elderly, vulnerable, single parents, people who have lost their jobs or people just struggling and to have the extra surprise gift of a meal or 2 for 4 weeks has been such a blessing. Some people have literally been tearful on the doorstep.”
100 Random Acts of Kindness
For Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17th we released the Kindness Report, a national survey of attitudes to kindness. We found that 65% of people believe the UK has grown kinder during the covid-19 pandemic and 92% of people have done a Random Act of Kindness themselves.
We also released a list of 100 Random Acts of Kindness: small acts that we can all do easily to help spread kindness within our communities. You can download and print the list (A3 size) here.
Suggesting a new partner for the Kindness Fund
What makes a suitable partner? We are seeking to work with organisations that are feeding vulnerable, disadvantaged or otherwise needy people in the communities surrounding our shops for whom a hot COOK meal is going to make a real difference. Meals must be collected from the local COOK shop and the organisation must be able to store and distribute frozen food safely.
What happens after I’ve submitted the form?
You will receive an automated response to confirm your form has been submitted. It’s highly likely that we will already be working with partners in your area and will therefore be unable to meet your need. In this case, you won’t hear anything further (sadly, we simply don’t have the resources to respond to all requests personally). However, we will keep your information should opportunities arise in future. We will contact you directly if there’s a possibility we might be able to provide you with some food.
What food can be provided?
Donations are focused on our core range of home cooking classics and the most commonly donated meals to date have been Cottage Pie, Macaroni Cheese and Spaghetti Bolognese. You can indicate the portion size that would be most useful (one, two or four portions).