A Plymouth man wants to help the city’s community who are struggling with the current cost of living crisis. Kelvin Baines, 68, has been personally affected by the hike in the price of bills, food, and basic items like cat food, and uses local charities to create cheap or even free meals.
Kelvin, who also has diabetes, got in touch after visiting charity The Village Hub in Stoke, where they offer free food and vegetables to the community and said he managed to make an “amazing” soup by picking up a free cabbage, carrot, and some potatoes. The only expense to the meal was a pack of six rolls costing £1.
Kelvin, who has lived in the city since 1999, told us he used to own a local fish and chip shop previously and would give away food to the community every week and believes it’s things like this that can make a difference to people and families lives who are struggling to make ends meet.
Read more: Cost of living crisis means half a million small businesses have ‘weeks left before they run out of cash’
He believes if businesses got on board, it could make a huge difference. He is also offering his own hacks on how to create meals for cheap or even free by using the foodbanks and charities based across the city.
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Kelvin said: “I went to Stoke high street where there is a local charity shop where they put out vegetables and help people inside and cook food for people who are older. I took a cabbage, some potatoes, and a carrot and made the most amazing soup.
“I just cut the vegetables up, added a vegetable stock cube, blended it up and I could have put other things in like peas or sweetcorn, but now in the freezer, I have two extra meals to defrost in the week.
“I’m personally affected by the hike in utility bills and gas, food, and basic commodities like cat items But there are more things and I’ve benefited from them over a number of years when I have been a bit short of money.”
Kelvin also suggested more fruit trees could be planted around Plymouth and listed so they can be turned into crumbles and other dishes cheaply which will benefit many people locally. There are many amazing volunteers working hard across the city to make sure their communities have basic living essentials.
As well as the soup, Kelvin told us he has made other meals on a budget like meatballs and spaghetti in a tomato and onion sauce – which again he has been able to freeze and eat later in the week. Batch-freezing these basic yet good meals helps keep costs down, especially when you can pick up a big bag of pasta for under a £1.
He added: “I think there are people out there that can get involved in helping the people in the city. I used to deliver a free small portion of chips every Friday to 20 customers locally- so these sorts of things can be done.”
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