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But city fresh food delivery service LIDS will continue to provide hope and a future for independent companies long after the crisis is over – as well as offer a helping hand to people in need.
“Shopping locally has never been more important, and we need to help businesses and the city to survive,” says chef and creator Dave Critchley. “They have been there for us, and we need to be there for them.
“LIDS is about putting money back in to the local economy – for which, in return, customers can enjoy getting the highest quality, fresh produce delivered straight to their door.”
He adds: “Paying it forward, they also get the chance to help a charity give that same food to others who badly need it. And if coronavirus has taught us anything, it’s about the importance of being there for each other.”
Liverpool Independent Delivered Services is an online shop and delivery service offering quality fresh produce from 14 different local suppliers.
It offers for sale everything from meat and fish, freshly-baked bread and cakes, to cheeses, wines and spirits, teas, cleaning and other household products, and – from Dave himself – Chinese-inspired meal and recipe boxes from top restaurant Lu Ban.
Have your full week's groceries brought to your door by @LIDSdelivery 🚚
— The Guide Liverpool (@TheGuideLpool) June 8, 2020
Orders can be made via the website here or by phone – 0330 107 0754 – where a member of staff can take customers through the website and put in the order for them. Most orders can be delivered the next day, and all within 48 hours.
LIDS was the brainwave of Liverpool-born Dave, who is Executive Chef at Lu Ban Restaurant.
He has worked with suppliers and independent traders across the region for more than 20 years and, when Covid-19 hit, it was obvious that the impact across the hospitality sector would be huge.
He says: “Suppliers were losing trade overnight and vulnerable customers were struggling to gain access to goods as the demand for supermarket delivery slots spiralled – and panic-buying meant shelves were left empty.
“I brought together some of the biggest and best-loved traders in the city, the best names in local produce, and set up this ‘super-service’, allowing people to buy from a range of retailers in one place and get it straight to their door, and helping the suppliers to get their produce out there and continue to trade and stay strong. (In fact, they’ve been busier than ever).
“I set it up because, in that first week, I was receiving phone calls from people struggling to get food – old people, isolated people, nursing homes. And it grew because people were getting – and get –amazing produce and an amazing service. And it’s about people – we helped people.
“We need to keep doing that, to put money back into the local economy and to help businesses, run by families like yours and mine, survive. Even if people substitute just one supermarket shop each month with a LIDS shop to support local businesses, it will make a huge difference.”
And it’s not just businesses you and LIDS can make a difference to.
Alongside his passion for supporting local business, Dave has also worked with foodbanks throughout his career and taken the challenge to get quality food to those most in need in the community too.
Explains Dave: “The use of foodbanks has continued to grow year on year, and I recognise they’re a lifeline for many in need. But I also believe everyone should have access to fresh and nutritious food and understand the basics of good nutrition. It’s about real food, for real people.
“Through Knowsley Kitchen, of which I’m one of the founding members, we’ve brought together community organisations that support us to do just that.
“At the moment, we’re delivering over 120 fruit and veg boxes and 50 packed lunches a week to some of the most deprived areas of our city. And, as LIDS grows we aim to expand this to include educational workshops, recipe sharing, and more.”
LIDS customers can help by making a straight-forward donation, so when they place an order they can choose to donate a specific amount to Knowsley Kitchen or, if they want to, they can choose to pay it forward by buying a kids’ packed lunch or a food box for someone else.
But just by buying from LIDS, shoppers support others in need because Dave donates a percentage of profits each month to Knowsley Kitchen.
“We want to create a sustainable food project to give people great produce so they can cook nutritious meals for themselves and just offer them a helping hand.”
Dave continues: “Put simply, shopping with LIDS provides customers with top-quality produce from some of the best names in the city. It makes a massive difference to our suppliers which is needed now more than ever, and it helps the community as a whole.”
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