FRESH food from Bournemouth's Hilton was donated to care homes to stop it going to waste when the hotel was forced to close.

Encore has care homes across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole and the donation was shared between them.

Surplus food was given to foodbanks after the hotel closed last week due to the coronavirus lockdown.

Delivery drivers from the care homes collected the food supplies from the hotel.

Fiona Radford, sales and marketing director at Encore care homes, said: “It’s been wonderful to receive this kind gesture of fresh food. Our own suppliers are working hard to keep us well stocked and this will give our residents more to enjoy during this challenging time. We can’t wait to see what our talented chefs and catering teams will create in the kitchen.

"Having worked previously in the hospitality and tourism sector, it’s become apparent that we share the same people-focused skills and behaviours. We are now looking for new team members in our care homes from this background, as they are so transferable and relevant."

Jon Fisher, director of sales of Hilton Bournemouth, said: "With the current situation, it wouldn’t be responsible to let our food go to waste. We’ve provided food for our staff and recognised the needs of the wider community. Hilton Hotels have many ongoing actions in the community and volunteer groups in each region, where we’re working hard to give something back during these unprecedented times."

Encore care homes have purpose-built care homes supporting residents with residential, nursing and dementia care. The Encore family includes Fairmile Grange in Christchurch, Oakdale in Poole and Great Oaks in Bournemouth.