Founded in 1985, The People’s Kitchen has served an average of 40,000 hot meals each year to the city’s homeless and disadvantaged population from its welcoming base in Newcastle. Due to a variety of personal reasons however, some people feel uncomfortable eating inside a building so an outreach team takes hot food and drink out onto the streets three times per week.
Serving more than 9000 meals on the streets of Newcastle each year is no easy task and a team of dedicated volunteers ensures that piping hot food is always available at Trafalgar Street on a Monday and Thursday evening as well as Sunday’ mornings at Old Eldon Square where porridge, a full English breakfast and hot drinks are served.
For the past 10 years, the outreach team has relied on their current catering van to transport the food to where it is needed most and to keep food warm and drinks hot no matter what the weather may bring. Now however that service is at risk as due to a succession of costly vehicle repairs, the catering van’s life is nearing an end.
The catering van is an essential lifeline to those vulnerable people who are unable to, or prefer not to go to The People’s Kitchen, a fact that worries volunteer Maureen Armstrong.
“Sadly, not everyone feels confident enough to mix with other people at the kitchen while some dislike being inside a building as they feel much safer outdoors in an environment that they feel secure in. It’s hard for many people to understand this but that is why we provide the outreach service three times a week.
“As the vehicle is becoming more and more unreliable, there is a real danger that some of our friends will not get the hot food they need. We have alternative arrangements in place in case this happens including flasks of hot drinks and sandwiches but it’s no substitute for what may be someone’s only hot meal of the day.”
The People’s Kitchen have launched a new text and online donation campaign to raise enough money to buy a new catering van and they are hoping that the generous people of the north east will support them as they have done in the past.
Donating to The People’s Kitchen is now easier than ever before thanks to the technology offered by Jesmond based technology firm, donr. The option of mobile billing allows supporters to donate securely in just a few clicks. The donation amount is then simply added to their mobile bill at the end of the month.
Further to this, donr also offers the option for donations from both Apple Pay and Google Pay, as well as via credit and debit card. All options are fully integrated into The People’s Kitchen donr crowdfunding page – both on desktop and mobile. https://donr.com/peoples-kitchen
“We need to find more than £50,000 for the new catering van and we can’t do it without the help of the people of the north east. The van is a welcome sight to our friends and to some it is the difference between eating and going without,” said Maureen.