Deeside communities enjoy Pot Luck

Crathie was one of the venues for the Pot Luck Lunches
Crathie was one of the venues for the Pot Luck Lunches

Three teams working under the umbrella of Pot Luck Lunches provided free meals over the festive period in Deeside communities.

Around 150 people of all ages attended lunches in Aboyne, Strathdon and Crathie.

The idea came from local Councillor Geva Blackett who wanted to utilise food waste, particularly turkey, leftover at supermarkets on Christmas Eve.

Councillor Blackett wanted to highlight that much of so-called ‘waste food’ is still consumable.

She approached Tesco with her plan of bringing people together for meals that were safe for consumption, and the store gave its support.

Balmoral and Invercauld Estates also contributed venison for the meals.

Volunteers organised the events including Kieron Cassie, a hospitality student at Aboyne Academy, who acted as chief chef for the Aboyne meal.

Aberdeenshire Council arranged for waste bins to be collected at no cost, and provided booklets of recipes using leftover food which were appreciated by everyone.

Bernie Cassie, who ran the Aboyne event, told the Piper: “Although we were not at capacity everyone had a really good time, so hopefully next year word will spread and folk will come from Lumphanan, Tarland and other communities to meet up with friends for what is actually a great afternoon.”

The three events were this year underwritten by a grant from the Aberdeenshire Charities Trust (ACT2) but in future any extra costs will be self-financing

Councillor Blackett thanked everyone who had supported the initiative.

She said: “We live in remote communities where travel in winter is not just expensive but can be challenging too. Rural isolation is also an issue I am particularly concerned about.

“I wanted to give people the opportunity to come together with friends and to meet new people - it was wonderful to see people in Crathie who actually don’t get out much but had made a huge effort to come to the lunch.

“You can have all the big ideas in the world but without people to help make them work, not much would happen.”