Thomas Franks Limited have started work as the new caterer for St Mary’s Convent, Wantage.

Chosen after a rigorous tendering process, the company based at Hook Norton, near Banbury began work in March just before lockdown. “We did our introductions at a socially safe distance over a gate,” founder Frank Bothwell recalls.

“We are very proud of our relationship with the Community of St Mary the Virgin,” he says, “And I look forward to developing it properly when the current restrictions are eased.”

Meanwhile, during the Covid-19 crisis, Thomas Franks has launched a Feeding Communities project to provide fresh, nutritious meals to those in need.

Its team have provided over 70,000 meals across the UK, Ireland, Portugal and Malta.

Recently the team’s work has focussed on the five million families in the UK who find themselves in food poverty. So far the “Big Feed” project, overseen by Hospitality against Food Poverty, has provided 12,000 chilled meals to 39 charities across the country to distribute to those in need.

“The Covid-19 crisis has amplified kindness,” says Frank. “There’s a lot of God involved. People just want to help people.”

Frank also issues a warning that food poverty won’t go away when the Covid-19 crisis passes. “It will be exacerbated and we’ll want to continue to support the needs of those trapped in it,” he says.