Truck full of catering equipment aids refugee plight

Staff from Meiko UK, along with employees of Keith Elkington Transport, loaded an 18-tonne truck with commercial catering equipment last month for delivery to a Paris-based charity.

The charity is caring for refugees escaping the escalating conflict in the Middle East.

Led by managing director Bill Downie, the team from Meiko UK co-ordinated donations from leading UK catering equipment suppliers including RH Hall, Valentine and West London based distributor Court Catering Equipment in support of Paris-based charity AVDH.

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The charity helps and supports Iranian exiles and other refugees from the region by providing food and shelter.

Meiko itself donated a number of re-furbished dishwashing machines and redundant tables, along with a quantity of detergent and rinse aid chemicals.

Use of the truck to Paris, as well as collecting the equipment from around the UK, was courtesy of Keith Elkington Transport, the firm that delivers Meiko’s equipment around the UK on a daily basis.

Court Catering Equipment donated the bulk of the equipment including servery counters, hot cupboards, gas fryers, high volume ice making machine, bulk brew coffee maker, gas kebab grill and other ancillary items including tables and sinks.

A double stack convection oven used by Chelsea Football Club was also donated by Court Catering Equipment.

As France struggles to cope with thousands fleeing conflict and repression, the AVDH charity in Paris serves thousands of meals daily to the needy.

“Operating with three kitchens, AVDH provides support for people who have fled persecution and war and who are in need of food, comfort and a place where they can meet their compatriots,” said managing director of Meiko UK, Bill Downie.

“The price of the donated equipment at new would have been well over £100,000. Indeed many new items were included and much of the rest had been hardly used at all.

“Court Catering Equipment did a great job of servicing and safety checking the donated gas cooking equipment.

“I would like to say thank you’ to all those who contributed help, including my own staff here at Meiko UK and Keith Elkington, managing director of Keith Elkington Transport.

"Without him and his professional team of drivers and handlers, we could never have pulled this project off.”

AVDH Paris director Sala Bassidji explained: “The donated equipment has multiplied the fruits of our efforts.

"Our volunteers come from many different parts of the world and having powerful equipment to work with in our new kitchens effectively multiplies their contribution.

"In times of chaos, when we sometimes have large numbers to feed, this support is invaluable.”

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