Yummy Pub Co to the rescue…
In April 2020, amidst the chaos and closures caused by the COVID-19 lockdown, we were approached by a small charity in Pimlico asking if we could help provide meals to 9 homeless people in a hostel without cooking facilities, for 2 weeks. OAPA CEO, Greg Mangham immediately sprung into action putting a call out to his network within the hospitality industry and the team at Yummy Pub Co generously stepped forward to offer their support.
From then, the need started to grow first from 9 to 18 and then from 75 to 150 people receiving 3 meals a day.
Over the 15 weeks of the first lockdown in 2020, we helped coordinate the distribution of 55,000 meals, 110,000 drinks, 86,000 snacks and 2,000 Easter Eggs! – across various homelessness services in London including the GLA hostels and to our members in lockdown who were self isolating.
OAPA CEO, Greg Mangham said, “We as an industry must be able to do something. Businesses are struggling now to survive, but what we have got are kitchens, we’ve got people on furlough who want to volunteer… to help these people on the street we need the food, the kitchen, the premises and the volunteers.”
He added: “These are our people and it’s preventative. If we can keep these people fed, watered, warm, they will come back to our industry when we’re ready to launch again rather than ending up in a doorway.”
The support continues…
Since its launch on 30th April 2020, the Hospitality Against Homelessness Campaign has received significant and generous support from a wide range of suppliers and companies including Yummy Pub Co., Paul Pavli, Emdad Rahman, Mandarin Oriental Hotel and The Strand Palace Hotel team, who have been storing food donations, cooking meals and has sourced a team of volunteers to distribute them to those in need. In the first week of May 2020, The Thomas Franks Foundation joined the Campaign contributing to the project by donating 2000 meals, as well as 25 microwaves, to ensure that those who have been placed into hostels have some form of cooking facilities.
As the lockdowns continued throughout 2020 and into 2021, we are proud to announce that the campaign has received and distributed over £1 million worth of donated food, drinks, clothing and essential living items to many hundreds of people facing and experiencing homelessness across London, Norfolk, Brighton, Manchester and more recently, Edinburgh.