A community cafe is continuing to offer its services throughout lockdown.
The Banchory Hub’s Number One cafe has been operating in the region for three years, working as part of FareShare Grampian.
Now with social distancing measures in place, the cafe is branching out and offering its services to individuals who live outside of Banchory, and are in need during the lockdown.
Since the pandemic hit, the cafe has been reaching out to residents in Aboyne and Ballater, and are being asked by other groups to help support their members.
Supermarkets are now donating items which are close to their expiry date, so the charity can cook meals for those most in need.
Jean Henretty, of the Banchory Community Hub, said: “Obviously there’s a greater need and no other charities are collecting from supermarkets at the moment.
“So we collect items five nights a week from one supermarket.”
Often close to their expiry date, the yellow-labelled items are given away free of charge to the hubs cafe, and then handed to their cooks who serve up hot and tasty meals.
She likens the process to Ready Steady Cook, as a random assortment of supplies means the chefs need to think on their feet and create something from what they have in the fridge.
In the last week alone, Jean and her team supplied 74 food parcels to individuals in need of a meal.
Jean said: “It changed initially because we’re a social community cafe, and our clients who would normally be here are often people who would be socially isolated anyway.
“They would come here for company and obviously they can’t at the moment, so we initially supported them and then we were asked to support other groups, because we had access to all the food and produce.”
Jean, a former nurse, ensures herself and her team take the necessary precautions to keep themselves and others safe during the pandemic, such as limiting contact and wearing masks and gloves.
As well as this, she only hires volunteers who she personally knows and have had disclosure checks.
She said: “We’d still like to receive financial donations because we also purchase dairy produce and things that the supermarkets don’t give us.
This includes an increase in requests for baby milk, fruit and yoghurts.
She said: “So I know we’ve got grants but we still require financial donations to purchase other products for people.”