A fish and chip shop owner who gave away 4,500 free hot meals during the first lockdown is continuing to support his local community with half price food until the end of February.
Victor Fox, owner of Harry Ramsbottoms in the seaside town of Skegness, Lincolnshire, has slashed the price of cod and chips from £6.99 to £3.50 as well as other popular items including sausages, pies and fishcakes.
The offer is available to local residents on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until 28th February and also includes a children’s meal for £1.50 instead of £3.
Selling around 550-600 half price meals each weekend since he started the offer in January, Victor comments: “In the first lockdown, we opened every Friday supplying meals to Skegness Hospital, the Salvation Army, the police service, the ambulance service and the fire brigade.
"We also provided 100 meal vouchers to two food banks in Skegness. It was very rewarding, we had a lot of thanks from people and we gave away about 4,500 meals in the 10-12 weeks. But unfortunately, it got abused, people were photocopying the vouchers, so this time I thought we have to change it. That’s when I decided to do fish, chips and peas at 50% discount for all local residents.
“It’s been a huge success, we started doing it just on a Friday but now we’ve extended it to Saturday and Sunday too.”
In addition, Victor is giving 10% of the takings to the local masonic lodge to distribute to more local causes.
“It’s a double whammy,” says Victor, who estimates the cost to his business of the free meals during the first lockdown to be between £7,000-£8000.
“I’m not bothered about the money, I’m quite a wealthy guy now, but I’ve been poor. I come from a coal mining community and I remember what it was like to have no electricity. I know what it’s like not to have any money and especially no food. I used to get one and a half inch thick slices of bread with lard on it for my dinner.
“In these times, not everyone realises how many people, especially children, aren’t eating properly.
“So this is me giving a bit back. But I’ve got a great team too who are all working for nothing, so the whole thing is good.
“We’ve had loads of customers thank us and say they haven’t had fish and chips for such a long time because they haven’t been able to afford them.”