Farmers help serve homeless a British breakfast

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British farming and the benefits of a good breakfast were celebrated in Bedford with a fry-up at a shelter for homeless men.

Paul Sitkowski from Stagsden insurance firm NFU Mutual arranged a “full-English” at The Nightshelter, in Bedford, with the help of local farmers who donated home-grown produce.

The meal was inspired by a national Breakfast Week promotion, which encouraged people to buy British and remind them of the benefits of eating a good meal first thing in the morning.

Paul said: “We decided we would help the shelter for our event and took cereal, milk and fruit juices along with mushrooms, sausages, bacon and eggs for the cooked breakfast. There was also black pudding, baked beans and hash browns.

“The shelter was happy for us to bring the food and, while we did it in the spirit of spreading the Breakfast Week message, we were moved by the situation of the homeless men. We came away talking about how people find themselves in this life, and how we might be able to provide a breakfast again.”

Breakfast Week events were held across the country last week as part of the Shake Up Your Wake Up campaign run by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board.

Browns of Stagsden, farm and shop, donated sausages, mushrooms and fruit to the event. The farm shop, which sells its home-reared meat hosted a selection of breakfast week events,

Farmer Hilary Brown said: “Breakfast is the most important meal - it gets you started for the day.

“Here at Browns, we rear beef cattle, pigs and a lot of turkeys, which are all sold through our farm shop. When the time comes, they go to a small, family-run abattoir, which is only 15 minutes away and causes them the minimum of stress.

“We also source other locally-reared meat, and grow wheat, barley and oilseed rape.”

She added: “We were pleased we could help out with the hearty breakfast at the shelter, while highlighting British farming. It’s a good thing when people support local businesses.”

Franklins of Thorncote, Sandy, donated sausages, bacon and eggs. Manager Anna Franklin said: “We produce pigs for bacon and sausages, which are slaughtered locally and butchered on the farm. We also keep free-range chickens for eggs.

“All our produce is sold through our shop, and 14 farmers markets held round the county. If you want sausage and eggs for breakfast, you know exactly where ours have come from.”