Andy Gray, MD and Owner of MC Kelly

Food banks gain from Devon company’s new meat box scheme

Authored by Lucy
Posted Tuesday, May 12, 2020 - 1:27pm

One of the Westcountry’s leading suppliers of quality meat and game to the catering industry is providing vital help sourcing and delivering meat to food banks and charities while undergoing huge upheaval and change to its own business during the coronavirus pandemic.

M C Kelly supplies the catering trade, employing 80 staff at its headquarters at Elston Farm, Copplestone in the heart of Devon. Established for 65 years, it is a key employer in the area, with most of its employees living locally to the village.

However, with the hospitality industry curtailed through Covid-19, it has  undergone massive and rapid changes in order to survive, diversifying into the new online company The Meat Box Company, while supporting charities that source food for those in need.

Despite the huge pressures on the business, its owner and managing director Andy Gray is supporting The Country Food Trust’s Coronavirus Appeal by sourcing and delivering meat to food banks and charities. 

Mr Gray said: “There is a desperate shortage of protein being supplied to food banks at all times but especially right now and this brilliant charity is helping fill this need.”

To date The Country Food Trust has delivered more than 1,000,000 meals with MC Kelly supplying 284,000 of them at cost. 

During this time of turmoil MC Kelly is using its knowledge, buying skills and buying power to acquire top quality meat at prices considerably below the cost of production. As a result, the donations to the charity go much further and are feeding many more people in food poverty.


It is also the first time MC Kelly has made available its carefully selected high quality British meat to the general public through The Meat Box Company.

Mr Gray said: “Lockdown has seriously affected our business, with demand reduced by 80 per cent almost overnight. To try to maintain and safeguard workforce in an area with few employment opportunities,  and help supply those having to isolate, we very quickly diversified, launching a trading website to supply meat nationwide.”

Through The Meat Box Company M C Kelly has begun to grow a new market which will be key to its business during the difficult months ahead whilst it waits for hotels and restaurants to reopen.

The Meat Box Company is also supporting NHS employees, offering free deliveries and a discount for all NHS workers.

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