The South Tyneside family who turned a boozer into a food bank to help hundreds of people during the pandemic
A South Tyneside family has become a lifeline for residents during the pandemic after setting up a food bank from their Jarrow pub.
Landlady Jean Murray, who runs Murray’s Club on Fellgate Avenue, Jarrow was forced to close in March when the UK went into lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Instead, the mum-of-three transformed the pub into a food bank and has been delivering more than 200 food parcels every week, to residents who are shielding or self-isolating across the borough.
“We’ve never done anything like this before, but when the pub closed, me and my daughters and a couple of the staff just got on with it,” said Jean, 58.
“Now we’re doing over 200 food packages a week - it’s become a full time job but it’s been great.”
Jean and daughters, Sarah-Jane Duffy, 38, Laura Murray-Smith, 31 and Kate Murray-Smith, 30, now deliver food parcels every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and spend the rest of the time stocking up on supplies - as well as preparing to hopefully reopen the pub in July.
They says they have been “overhwelmed” with help and donations from local businesses and members of the public.
“It has given us all something to focus on and the support from the estate has been incredible,” continued Jean.
“It’s having a really big impact on people, the residents are all so grateful - especially those who are in total lockdown - they are relying solely on our food packages.
“I’m just happy as long as I’m helping the people who live here.”