A FOOD initiative launched by students at Musselburgh’s Queen Margaret University got the seal of approval from chef Prue Leith.

Ms Leith, the university’s chancellor, in her latest video to students and staff, praised those behind ‘Empty Kitchens, Full Hearts’, which has distributed more than 40,000 meals during the Covid-19 lockdown to those in need around Edinburgh.

The scheme was launched by Lewis McLachlan, an MSc gastronomy student, and involves chefs, students, hospitality business owners and suppliers volunteering to collect food donations and prepare free meal packs.

Lewis said: “We’ve built quite a nice community of volunteers and ‘Empty Kitchens, Full Hearts’ is helping us feel a sense of belonging and purpose, too.

“These volunteers are people who wanted to get stuck in and help out. I’m so proud of each and every one of them.”

In her video, Ms Leith discusses healthy eating during lockdown and highlights the gastronomy students’ “enterprise”.

She said: “I am so pleased with the gastronomy students who have got together to form their little enterprise called ‘Empty Kitchens, Full Hearts.’

“What it does is feed people who are desperately in need of a decent meal and I know they will be bringing, not just nutrition, but genuine comfort and joy.”

She added: “Please eat properly yourselves. If you eat nothing but junk, you won’t feel really well.

“So try to eat as much fresh food as you can. I know it’s difficult to get but don’t just reach for the chocolate bars, I’m begging you.”

For more information, go to facebook.com/EmptyKitchens FullHearts

To view a video of Lewis talking about their hot lunches, go to facebook.com/EmptyKitchensFullHearts/videos/3197394720271816