McKays hotel in Pitlochry partners with suppliers to provide 120 free Christmas dinners for food bank

McKays staff Richard Kirby (left), Floris Usurelu (centre) and Kerry Reid (right) get in the spirit of giving, with Christmas round the corner.

MCKAYS HOTEL BAR AND RESTAURANT, along with supportive suppliers like Brakes and Total Produce Group, is set to deliver nearly 120 Christmas dinners to Pitlochry’s Food Bank. This initiative surpasses previous efforts, demonstrating community solidarity amid increasing demand in 2023. 

The generous contributions include traditional festive items like turkey, sprouts, and Chipolata sausages, ensuring those in need experience the warmth of a holiday meal. McKays staff, embracing the spirit of giving back, will cook and deliver the meals, with Quiz Night entry fees throughout December aiding the Food Bank’s essential stock.

Pitlochry’s McKays Hotel Bar and Restaurant, in collaboration with suppliers Brakes and Total Produce Group, is gearing up for its most significant Christmas gift to the town’s Food Bank. The tradition began three years ago with surplus food donations and evolved into the preparation of 100 free Christmas dinners last year. This year’s effort aims to deliver nearly 120 meals, emphasising the hotel’s commitment to community welfare. The meals, generously supplied by Brakes and Total Produce Group, feature traditional festive fare, showcasing the community’s collective spirit to combat rising living costs.

Suppliers Brakes and Total Produce Group have donated essential Christmas ingredients, including turkey, sprouts, Chipolata sausages, potatoes, carrots, and parsnips, underscoring the collaborative effort to make a difference in the community. McKays kitchen team will turn these ingredients into hearty meals, ready for Christmas Day distribution to the Food Bank and local households. The initiative exemplifies the hotel’s dedication to supporting those facing challenges, especially during the festive season.

“Once again, our suppliers have been very generous and, for our staff, it is just something they enjoy doing,” said McKays General Manager, Alec Summers. “They like to help the local community and see it as a chance to make a difference especially at this time of the year when things are very tight with the cost of living. For them, it is an opportunity to give something back.”

Helen Kirkwood from the Atholl Centre says the effort will be greatly appreciated, with the Food Bank experiencing greater demand in 2023, due to rising living costs. “This year, we’ve not only seen people struggling with the cost of food, they are having difficulty with all costs. We also run Warm Places at various locations and there have been more people using these as well. What has been really good is the number of people who are very willing to get involved to help. We still have room for more people at our Christmas Day meal, so it will be good to see as many as we can. We are looking forward to a good festive occasion.”

In addition to the Christmas dinner initiative, McKays is directing all entry fees from its weekly Quiz Nights throughout December to help stock the Food Bank with essential items for January. This multifaceted approach exemplifies a community-driven response to the challenges faced by individuals and families, making a tangible impact during the holiday season and beyond.

To accommodate more individuals at the Christmas Day meal, the Atholl Centre encourages bookings, fostering a sense of community and festive joy. Interested individuals can contact 01796 473044 to reserve seats for the Christmas Day meal, contributing to the anticipated success of the occasion.

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