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Oldest Crewe Company Helps Feed The Frontline With British Oats

Mornflake Donations

A food producer that helped feed the nation in the Second World War is supporting the fight against coronavirus by supplying its breakfast range to frontline staff, community organisations and those most at risk.

‘Rescue pallets’ of porridge and other oat-based products milled by Mornflake are being shipped to NHS frontline, food banks and vulnerable people across the region.

The family milling firm is also supporting the national DEFRA care parcel scheme, with a pack of Mornflake Oats being included in over half a million parcels sent to households this month.

The pioneering firm, one of the oldest in the country, has found itself once again at the forefront of efforts to support the country in its hour of need.

Mornflake Oats

While stepping up supplies to supermarkets across the UK, it is leading a drive to ensure our brave frontline have a nutritious start to the day and hard-pressed food banks are topped up with oat cereals as a pantry staple.

Mid Cheshire Hospitals Trust, North West Ambulance Service, Tarporley War Memorial Hospital and food banks in Crewe and Nantwich were among those to receive cases of oats, muesli and granola this week.

Managing director, John Lea, said: “Mornflake is doing its bit to help our incredible Front-Line and the vulnerable during a challenging time. We have seen other companies, such as Dyson, switch to manufacturing much-needed hospital equipment and the one thing we can do is supply a good nutritious breakfast to those in need.

“Our staff here have been doing a fantastic job working around the clock in these challenging circumstances. In our deliveries to NHS staff we have been overwhelmed by their good cheer in the face of adversity epitomising the ‘quiet good-humoured resolve’ Her Majesty the Queen spoke of in her address.”

Mornflake Heritage

The story of Mornflake spans five centuries and 15 generations of the Lea family starting with William Lea who began milling oats at Swettenham Mill, South Cheshire in 1675 – nine years after the Great Fire of London. It is the oldest business in Crewe, milling oats before steam locomotion and railways.

In Britain’s hours of need and peril during the Second World War Phillip Lea set about feeding the nation from a disused flour mill in Crewe. The Ministry of Food decided that Mr Lea would best serve Britain’s war effort by producing milled oats on mass and had to forego his RAF career.

As an excellent source of energy oats became the number one daily dietary staple during what would become known as the ration years. A new factory was built on Gresty Road, Crewe to cope with the demand of feeding a nation at war.

Whilst Rolls Royce was engineering Merlin engines for Spitfires, Phillip Lea was feeding pilots, sailors and soldiers and millions of families at home. Milling for victory.

Now as food production staff, Mornflake millers are designated key personnel by UK government during the health crisis as are its drivers at the wheel of trademark orange lorries making deliveries the length and breadth of the country.

Meanwhile the company is working with health and fitness experts to highlight how oats can be used in all meal occasions presenting versatility, value for money and all round goodness. Recipe videos are set to go live soon.

More than 300 years of milling experience going into producing Mornflake Mighty Oats which are excellent source of dietary fibre. Per gram, oats contain more protein, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, thiamin, folacin and vitamin E than many other wholegrains, such as wheat, barley, corn and rice. For more on how oats can support good health and the immune system go to

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