COCKENZIE and Port Seton resilience team and staff at Port Seton Centre last week smashed the 7,000 barrier in terms of the number of meals made and distributed to local residents during the coronavirus lockdown.

And such is their prowess, they are now closing in on 9,000 meals!

The 7,000th meal was handed over on May 25 to 99-year-old Margaret Mack, of Port Seton’s Thomson Crescent the service’s oldest customer, by the resilience team’s youngest volunteer, Imogen Woods, 16, who regularly delivers Margaret’s meals.

During lockdown, staff and volunteers at the Port Seton Centre have been producing and delivering hot meals and food packages to vulnerable residents and those most in need.

They have been working with Cockenzie and Port Seton Community Council, who have been leading the local resilience effort.

The centre is also supporting the work of the local school hub by providing children who would usually receive free school meals with breakfast and lunch packs.

Bryan Hickman, chairman of Cockenzie and Port Seton Community Council, said: “I didn’t expect us to produce that many.

“It’s been going on as things continue, and helping a variety of people such as those shielding. . . we don’t know how long these people are going to be kept in.”

Donations of food have come from local residents, groups and businesses, as well as East Lothian Council and FareShare.

The FareShare hub was set up last month, and sees surplus food from supermarkets donated to the centre.

A new fridge and freezer was also delivered to the centre to store any fresh or frozen food that was delivered. Emma Brown, connected communities manager for the Preston Seton Gosford area, said: “The Port Seton Centre is delighted to be an active partner in the Cockenzie and Port Seton resilience team, providing vital support to vulnerable people during Covid-19.

“We are now far past the 7,000 meal delivery – and actually closer to 9,000 – and it shows how working together can make such a difference to community response.

“It has been great to partner the community council, connected communities Preston Seton Gosford (PSG) staff team, children’s hub, our vital volunteers and other members of the PSG Area Partnership to provide a local response.”