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QMU - Helping the Community

By Gillian 05 Jun 2020

Empty Kitchens, Full Hearts

QMU's catering services partner, Baxterstorey, have been working incredibly hard over the last few weeks and months to support the university, local charities and community groups during these challenging times.  

From keeping our resident students and local community stocked up with essential household items from the popular pop-up shop in Maggie’s, including over 5,000 kilos of flour to date! To offering visitors a touch of normality with a fresh morning take away coffee, breakfast rolls and deli lunches to enjoy safely whilst getting daily exercise walking around QMU’s gorgeous open grounds. 

a man cooking food on a tray

The team have also been supporting a local community group named Empty Kitchens, Full Hearts, run by two Edinburgh based chefs who produce food packages for vulnerable groups and homeless people.  Their aim is to provide 3 hot meals a day that contain at least 5 portions of fruit & veg.  The group was founded by Lewis McLachlan, a current QMU MSc Gastronomy student and professional chef, and is supported by a large team of volunteers, including a number of QMU students, backpackers from around the world and professional chefs from across Edinburgh and the Lothians.

a man standing in front of a box

The QMU Baxterstorey team have been working hard to help support Empty Kitchens, Full Hearts, cooking over 1000 portions of vegetable soup which will be distributed as part of the food packages.  QMU is also donating all the ingredients to make the soups and the first batch of 400 soups was collected last month! This collection will continue on a weekly basis for now, and the team are working closely with Lewis to see if there are other ways they could support the group.

One way the team have already found to help, is by donating some much needed PPE to Lewis and the Empty Kitchens, Full Hearts team. Due to current circumstances PPE is in very short supply so this donation this will ensure the team there are able to safely continue the good work they are doing.

a man cooking food on a table

Carberry Care Home
Davie Beattie, one of our QMU Baxterstorey chefs, has also been helping the local community by covering shifts in the kitchen at Carberry Care Home, Musselburgh.  Without his support, the Care Home would struggle to staff the kitchen fully due to many staff taking ill or shielding.  The QMU team also received a very kind donation of rhubarb from a local resident,  this was transformed into a delicious rhubarb crumble by our chefs and delivered to delighted residents Carberry Care Home.

Resilient Musselburgh
Resilient Musselburgh works to provide community support to members of the community who require immediate or urgent support to gain access to essential items or information where there is no other available means. Our team has been working together with Resilient Musselburgh to offer access to the many suppliers Baxterstorey has access to, to ensure a steady supply can still be offered to those in need. 


With over 100 students still living on campus, some of which have been unable to get home during the lockdown, QMUSU, Reslife at QMU and our QMU Baxterstorey team joined forces to put together 110 wellbeing packs for the students living in University accommodation. These packs included food essentials, toilet paper and a lovely handwritten note, all of which provided a much needed boost to our students spirits.


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