Essex gran, 89, gets up before dawn to bake pies for vulnerable people

If food is the way to someone’s heart it’s no wonder that keen cook, Flo Osborne, has received mountains of love from up and down the country.

As part of our campaign with KFC, we are sharing stories of everyday people doing extraordinary things to help their community through the current crisis – those heroes who want to give people more of what they love.

Flo from Harwich has been doing just that.

It all started with a call for help from the North Essex Support Team (NEST) on Facebook. Chef, Graham Osborne, saw a post from the group asking for people to cook meals that could be distributed to vulnerable members of the community.

Graham asked his mother, Flo, 89, if she could cook some of her signature fruit pies and she agreed.

This was back in the spring and Flo has been baking batches of pies ever since, often waking up before 5am to get to work on her tasty creations.

Graham said: “Just this week we put on a spread for 60 people. Mum says she’s cooking for the older folks, despite most of the people we’re sending meals to being younger than her.

“It keeps her busy, if she wasn’t baking she’d be twiddling her thumbs as she doesn’t turn the television on until 4pm.”

News of Flo’s good work has spread beyond her community, with social media posts of thanks even finding their way to relatives in Australia. She has also won a British food shopping competition for her efforts, but donated the prize of vouchers and a food hamper to NEST.

Since Flo’s original batch of pies that she cooked in the small kitchen of her home, she has continued to make cherry pies, apple pies and savoury pies – all using her own money to pay for ingredients.

“My mum doesn’t think anything of it,” said Graham. “She is always helping people and she’d do it even if there wasn’t a crisis happening.”

For many, food is more than just fuel to keep us going, it’s a way of showing our love and bringing comfort in a difficult time.

This year may have been tough but it’s good to remember it has also served up some incredible stories of kindness, determination and joy in communities across the UK. And we think that calls for more…gravy!

To add some festive cheer, and give us all more of what we love, the Colonel has a special gift for the nation: behold KFC’s new Gravy Burger Box Meal, featuring a fillet burger with added gravy!

There’s also a new gravy boat to add lashings of legendary KFC gravy to your chicken burger, topped with a specially-dimpled hash brown that allows the gravy to pool over your meal.

There’s also a new gravy boat to add lashings of legendary KFC gravy to your chicken burger, topped with a specially-dimpled hash brown that allows the gravy to pool over your meal.