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New festive initiative from innovative food project

Date: Monday 11 December

New festive initiative from innovative food project

A popular initiative from Blairgowrie and Rattray Development Trust (BRDT) is providing a special festive offer for residents in the town.

The Saturday Lunch Club, which is part of the BaRI (Blairgowrie and Rattray Independent) Food Project, initially came about as part of the town’s response to the global coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and efforts to reduce social isolation, undernourishment, food costs and food waste.

Every Saturday, a team of volunteer drivers deliver around 80 portions of soup and cake to local residents in Blairgowrie and Rattray, and since it started, nearly 20,000 lunches have been delivered to residents in the east Perthshire town.

As well as lunch, those involved can order from a choice of three pre-cooked meals at significantly reduced prices, with some of the meals also available to purchase in the BaRI Food and Refill store on Blairgowrie High Street.

And this year, the team behind the project is offering a three-course home cooked Christmas meal including homemade soup, a traditional turkey dinner, and Christmas pudding and custard, delivered on Saturday, December 23rd.

Lesley McDonald is responsible for project development at BRDT. She said: “The BaRI Food Project is made up of a number of initiatives aimed at reaching people through food and reducing food waste. We work closely with other groups and projects such as Biodiversity Blair to achieve this.

“One aspect of our work is the popular Saturday Lunch Club which sees us make and deliver delicious home cooked meals to around 80 people every week.

“We know that this can be an expensive time of year for everyone and so this year, along with our normal meals we are also preparing for Christmas with our special festive meals – homemade soup, traditional turkey dinner, and Christmas pudding and custard – all homecooked and delivered to your door on Saturday, December 23rd.

“We can cater for individuals, couples and families, so if you would like to take the kitchen out of Christmas and have your meal precooked and delivered to your door, get in touch.”

Individual Christmas meals are priced at £10 for the three courses, it’s £18 for two meals, £42 for a family of five and £49 for a family of six.  

The BaRI Store sells in-date food and food which is at its best-before-date that supermarkets cannot sell anymore. Open to everyone, the store also receives food from local supermarkets which would otherwise be thrown away because the packaging has been damaged.

A range of items - which can include fresh fruit and vegetables, bread, cereal, pasta, sauces and tinned soup and fruit and vegetables - is available to purchase at heavily discounted prices. The store also stocks eco-friendly cleaning products and toiletries that can be refilled at the store, saving on the number of plastic bottles that end up in landfill.

As well as selling surplus food in the store, some of it is used as ingredients for the Saturday Lunch Club, the Wednesday Lunch Clubs in Harriet Court, Cluny Court, Darroch Gate and Ericht Court, for the pre-cooked meals, and to top up the BaRI Larders in the town.

Lesley added: “BRDT’s work is led by the community for the community and one of our roles is to support improvements to the environmental sustainability of the town through initiatives such as the the BaRI Food project, which helps contribute towards fostering a strong sense of community and identity in Blairgowrie and Rattray.

“We’re always keen to hear from volunteer drivers who could help out for a couple of hours once a fortnight delivering lunches to our Saturday Lunch Clubbers. And if you know of anyone who would like to receive a free soup and cake delivery every week, or would like to try the delicious pre-cooked meals and have a night off cooking, please get in touch.”

The BaRI Food store is open on Mondays, 2pm to 3pm, Wednesdays, 4pm to 5pm, Thursdays, 9.30am to 10.30am and Saturdays, 10.30am to noon.

For further details on any of the projects and volunteering opportunities, or to order a Christmas meal, email