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Prado Lounge, in Sudbury, introduces prepaid meal scheme to help people struggling over festive period





A Suffolk restaurant has been overwhelmed with community support after it introduced a prepaid meal scheme.

Prado Lounge, in Market Hill, Sudbury, has set up the scheme to help those struggling over the festive season.

Those facing hardships can visit the restaurant and enjoy a hot meal by taking a ticket, which has been prepaid by customers and staff.

Prado Lounge, in Market Hill, Sudbury, introduces a prepaid meal scheme. Picture: Prado Lounge
Prado Lounge, in Market Hill, Sudbury, introduces a prepaid meal scheme. Picture: Prado Lounge

Kari Waterman, assistant manager, said it was supervisor Niamh who first came up with the idea.

“She has done a lot of work with homelessness in the past,” said Kari.

“She saw the idea on TikTok and she asked me if we can do it and I said yes.

Those struggling this winter can enjoy a prepaid hot meal. Picture: Prado Lounge
Those struggling this winter can enjoy a prepaid hot meal. Picture: Prado Lounge

“Our manager is always very chill about things like this and says: ‘Do whatever charity thing you want, as long as you do it.’”

Kari said she hopes the scheme will help to relieve pressure for some.

She said: “We had staff now and in the past who are going through the same sort of thing –having trouble with money or with housing.

The scheme will run until the end of January. Picture: Prado Lounge
The scheme will run until the end of January. Picture: Prado Lounge

“So for a lot of the staff here, it’s important to make sure people are getting food and having somewhere warm to sit down and enjoy a coffee or read a book.”

The company organises charity events twice a year – one every June and one during Christmas.

It’s part of their parent company’s charity scheme Lounge Aid.

Kari explained: “We try to keep at least one charity thing going a year, but with this one, the community really got into it.

“The response was really good. We got more donations than we could hand out.”

The scheme will continue until end of January, and any unclaimed tickets will be donated to the Storehouse Foodbank.