The volunteers keeping Ashton fed with meals on wheels curries

A dedicated team of volunteers at an Ashton community centre have made sure no one goes hungry during the pandemic by delivering hot food to local people.

Since 1964, the Shree Bharatiya Mandal on Union Road, Ashton has doubled as a Hindu temple and an Indian community centre — as well as religious services, it’s home to yoga, ladies’ nights, and Gujarati classes.

And one service has kept elderly and vulnerable people in the community fed.

Three days a week, a team of volunteers prepare, pack, and deliver around one hundred meals to people in Ashton.

Chair Amrit Mistry said: ” We’ve been providing this service for 30 years, but it has never been so important until last March when COVID descended on us all, we’ve helped those individuals who are shielding, isolating and feeling lonely. 

“You cannot underestimate what it means to everyone.”

Volunteers begin cooking curries, biriyanis, chapatis, rice, and dal from 7.30am, ready for an 11am delivery.

Amrit first got involved with the centre fifty years ago, and is one of many long-serving trustees.

“People like myself were the first generation [involved with the centre], and it’s expanded since then,” he said.

Volunteers continue to deliver meals three days a week, but with restrictions lifted more people are coming in to the centre to enjoy a hot meal in person. And Amrit is happy to see people back using the centre.

“We had a function last Saturday and everyone was enjoying themselves,” he said.

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