A Penrith businessman’s offer to donate surplus food to those hitting hard times has spread far and wide.
Tim Lorton — who runs Tattie Tim’s (World Famous) Baked Potatoes in Penrith town centre — posted the offer online, saying that anyone who was struggling to feed themselves or their families could take any surplus food left over after 3pm each day, at no charge.
The offer has been shared over 3,000 times on social media and Tim has been inundated with people praising his charitable move.
Businesses and organisations around Penrith have also got on board, with a local taxi firm offering to deliver surplus food to those in rural areas without transport.
Eden Housing’s homeless section will be signposting people to Tim’s offer while Church in the Barn, the Salvation Army, Eden Rural Foyer and local churches have all made contact.
In his post Tim explained: “For years now I’ve been throwing away perfectly good food.
“It’s the nature of my business, I cook food three hours in advance of potential sales.
“Therefore some days I throw away perfectly good food as some days I’m busier than others.
“In 25 years this is something I have never been comfortable with or got used to.
“I know that there are people and families in town that use food banks and struggle to feed themselves and their families through no fault of their own.
“I would like to give those people a filling nutritional meal. I understand that you may be embarrassed to approach me but please don’t be. Anyone reading this could be in that situation, particularly now.
“Anytime after 3pm Monday to Saturday if I have any food left this is free and available to anyone who needs it or anybody you think might need it.
“Please don’t let this go in the bin anymore, when human beings need it, come and see me.
I can’t promise it every day — today for instance I sold everything, it’s the nature of my business as I’ve already said, but most days food goes in the bin.”
Tim, aged 52 of Penrith, told the Herald: “I’ve had a few customers hit hard times and I’ve been helping them out and I felt I could do more.
“There’s a lot of people that are suffering in silence that maybe are too proud to ask for help. A lot of people have lost their jobs and incomes and you know they will be struggling
“If I can help one person a day and give them something to eat it’s one less thing for them to worry about.
“I’m just a bloke that sells potatoes on a street corner, I’m just one man with an idea, but it seems to have caught the imaginations of some people and, who knows, maybe it will inspire people to do something else to help.”
Already Tim has been able to help a young couple and donated 15 meals to the Salvation Army.
“That’s 15 people have a meal which is nice to know it’s not going in the bin it’s going in people’s stomachs.”
In 2018, Tim was voted Penrith’s unsung hero at the town’s chamber of trade business awards and was awarded a Chief Constable’s Commendation after he went to the aid of a woman who lost both her legs in a car crash in the town in May, 2018, possibly saving her life.