MORE than 400 food parcels have been given away to vulnerable families and adults after McDonald’s has donated its left-over food to the community.

About ten volunteers helped pack between 400 and 500 care packages including milk, eggs, salad items, bacon and rolls, with more people helping to deliver them after all McDonald’s restaurants closed on Monday night due to the coronavirus.

Dale Cheesman, 60, manager of Park Pavilion and a member of Harwich Helps, worked together with Harwich Police Cadets leader Kirsty Lucas and manager of McDonald’s Craig Newnes in the initiative.

Dale said: “We received a call from PC Lucas who has been in talks with the manager from Harwich McDonald’s and everything went from there.

“We went down to the restaurant to pick up the items but ended up going to the Clacton one and we even had a van go to Colchester.

“We contacted care homes and people living in sheltered housing and gave away milk and salad items.

“Taxi drivers were also working with us as they know people who are vulnerable and isolating.

“We worked as a community.

She added: “I think McDonald’s have been absolutely fantastic to the Harwich people and we can’t express how grateful we are. They have gone far over our expectations.”

Mrs Cheesman said they tried to cover as much of the area as they could.

“I can’t thank PC Lucas for bringing us in on the project and helping our community,” she added.

Mr Newnes, who has McDonald’s franchises in Harwich, Clacton, Weeley, Colchester and Sudbury, said: “On closure of our restaurants on Monday evening we were happy and proud to support our communities with any excess stock in order to help the foodbank and nominated charities.

“This has been done now and I want to thank my teams for helping us do this while having the stress of closing down restaurants.

“I am just happy we could help our beloved and valued communities in this difficult time.”

McDonald’s has closed all their restaurants in the United Kingdom and Ireland during the pandemic.