A KILWINNING pub has been supporting the community over the continued lockdown by distributing free lunches to children over the Easter holidays.

Abbey Gates Bar and Grill started the initiative on April 5 and it ran for two weeks.

Launched by pub partner, Thomas Murray, the initiative was introduced in order to support families who may be struggling financially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to the outbreak, the pub also ran a popular after school early bird special, which provided a free kids meal with the order of any adult’s meal, and therefore wanted to continue supporting local families whilst unable to open.

Thomas said: “The Abbey Gates Bar and Grill is a key part of the local area and has been greatly supported by the community over the years.

“Since taking over the running of the pub, we have hosted a number of charity nights and the community has been ever so generous, so we wanted to repay the favour.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has hit families hard and we knew that there may be children, who would usually receive free school meals, without a lunch over the holidays, so we’re happy to support our community in any way we can.”

The lunchboxes were

available from 12pm each day during the holidays and included a healthy sandwich, an apple, packet of crisps

and a low sugar drink, all packaged in a coloured sandwich bag, to allow the recipients to collect their order discreetly and safely. The food was all provided by the pub with no charge to the families who utilised the service.

The pub is owned by Hawthorn, the community pub company, which owns more than 700 pubs across Scotland, England and


Andrew Parker, director of leased and tenanted operations, Hawthorn said: “We’re proud to be a community pub company, and it’s more important than ever to serve our communities at times like this.

“It’s the sign of a truly great community pub that the Abbey Gates Bar and Grill has continued to help local families and children wherever possible.”

He added: “Well done to Thomas for the fantastic job you’re doing, from all of us at Hawthorn.”