Berkhamsted charities join forces to feed those in need

Living Magazines Berkhamsted Community Pantry and volunteers Joan and Jo

Open Door, the community centre in Berkhamsted, and Berko Food for Friends have teamed once again up to provide a free meal service for the most vulnerable in our community.

Every Tuesday and Thursday during lockdown, volunteers are delivering freshly cooked main courses and desserts to older people, and those who are self isolating or struggling financially.

Christine Delaney, who helped set up the service back in July, says: ‘We made almost 1,500 deliveries during the last lockdown, and know that a delicious meal delivered with a friendly smile was the highlight of many people’s week. It’s impossible to overestimate the isolation some people are experiencing right now, and we want to do what we can to take some of the worry away.’

Food donations have been coming in from local supermarkets and market stalls. These are skilfully turned into balanced, nutritious meals by school chef Mark Sear, who has almost 30 years’ catering experience under his belt.

Open Door is also making sure essential supplies are available, free of charge, in the Community Pantry outside their entrance.

Mary-Jane Martin, Volunteer Manager, explains: ‘We’ve been lucky that so many people have stepped forward to offer help since the current lockdown started. This means we now have two fantastic volunteers looking after the Pantry, making sure it stays full of food and other vital products, like nappies and toiletries. We have a very small budget to do this, and are grateful for any contributions the Berkhamsted community can make.’

There are also community pantries at St Mary’s Church, Northchurch, and Northchurch Baptist Church.

  • If you’d like to order a meal for you or on behalf of someone else, please email
  • The Community Pantry is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for people to take what they need, or contribute food and other essentials
  • If you’d like to make a donation to support Open Door’s work in the community, please email
  • Once Open Door reopens there will be lots of exciting volunteering opportunities – please email to find out more

Open Door is at 360-364 High Street, Berkhamsted. For more information, visit