A Barnet-based chef is making 100 meals a day as part of a community effort to provide NHS workers with healthy food during the coronavirus outbreak.

Lindsey Jacobs, who lives in Edgware, is cooking giant batches of soups, salads and other dishes to supply hospitals in North London as staff work around the clock to provide care.

Ms Jacobs runs her own catering company, Creative Cuisine – but after business was hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak, she turned her hand to providing nutritious meals for healthcare workers.

She is part of the ‘You donate…we deliver’ project originally set up by residents in Elstree and Borehamwood and hoping to build support in Barnet.

Ms Jacobs said: “We are all in the same boat. We have got to do all we can to help our NHS. We really need to get them nutritious food.

“People have been delivering pizzas for NHS staff, but they need more than that – they need protein, fruit and vegetables.

“I am a chef by trade – I’ve got two big kitchens and huge cooking pots. They asked me to help, and I said, ‘absolutely’.”

Vegetable soup, couscous salad, leek and potato soup, tomato meatballs with rice, and turkey burgers are among the dishes she serves up for the NHS.

Ms Jacobs added: “They need slow-release carbs – something tasty that will give them energy. If they are on their feet for 12 hours, they need that.”

The campaign has so far sent meals to Northwick Park Hospital, The Royal Free Hospital and Watford General Hospital.

Dr Sophia Lewis, who lives in Mill Hill and works at Northwick Park Hospital, said: “It is really nice to have a feeling that there are so many people looking after our teams at the hospital.

“I am a doctor, but there are lots of people I work with in the teams – like nurses and anaesthetists’ assistants – who work really long hours without much pay.

“With the restaurants and canteens closed, it is really nice to have a home-cooked meal.

“We are all gearing up for quite a few weeks of this. What is really nice about You donate…we deliver is they package their food, so if people want to take it home, they can.”

Dr Lewis warned people should not prepare food if they are sick.

But she added that otherwise, if people are sensible when preparing food – practising good hygiene, washing their hands regularly and following guidelines set out by Public Health England – the risk of passing on coronavirus through cooking is “quite low”.

Vicky Baruch, who lives in Mill Hill, said she had been “absolutely overwhelmed” by the community support for the You donate…we deliver campaign.

She said: “A lot of people had been supplying pizza and pasta and chocolate, which is great – but we need nutritious, vitamin-based meals.

“We decided we would call on the neighbourhood to come together to provide food for NHS hospital workers and ambulance drivers. Our neighbours in Mill Hill have been so generous with their support.”

Ms Baruch said the most effective way people can help out is by donating via the group’s Go Fund Me page, which is here.

The money raised is used to buy the ingredients for the dishes, and the group also wants to purchase extra fridges and water machines for coronavirus wards. So far, it has raised more than £4,600.

People can visit the You donate… we deliver Facebook group for more information.