Jarrow pub landlord Lee Hughes cooks 6,000 meals for those hit hardest during the pandemic

Jarrow landlord, Lee Hughes has cooked up no less than 6,000 meals for local residents since the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

Tuesday, 2nd June 2020, 12:11 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd June 2020, 12:32 pm

The former councillor - who has run the long-standing wateringhole for more than 30 years - found himself at a loss on Friday, March 20 when the Government announced that all pubs, bars and restaurants had to close in an attempt to get the spread of the virus under control.

Overnight Lee turned his pub into a community kitchen and soon went from cooking 20 meals a day to around a 100, five days a week.

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Landlord Lee Hughes has cooked around 6,000 meals for residents from his pub the Red Hackle in Jarrow.

He created a menu with a different dish for each day - of which curry Wednesdays and fish and chip Fridays have been a particular hit.

And over the last 10 weeks he estimates he has cooked and delivered around 6,000 meals across South Tyneside.

Donations from the public came flooding in and local businesses also stepped up to provide sponsorship to keep his kitchen afloat.

Throughout the crisis, Jarrow firm UTS Engineering has been paying for dozens of meals to be delivered to its workforce, which has meant Lee can keep feeding those who need it the most.

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Now, as he looks forward to reopening his pub, he says he will continue to run his kitchen until at least the end of June and longer if the residents need him to.

“The feedback from everyone has been tremendous - everybody who has taken a meal from us has been so grateful and the response from the community has been second to none,” said Lee.

“I would like to thank everyone, but in particular, the support from UTS has been outstanding, it has allowed me to continue providing the meals for free.”

He added: “I have no regrets, I would do it all again - but I wouldn’t like to think of us having to go through something like this again.”

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