Hospitality Against Homelessness
The Hospitality Against Homeless Campaign aims to bring together the hospitality industry in a focused effort to provide immediate support to homeless people across London which includes fellow hospitality industry colleagues in crisis with meals, kitchen facilities/equipment and accommodation.
At the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, Only A Pavement Away had two choices, stand back or step in to help – the choice was simple, we had to ensure our members didn’t fall back into destitution. We immediately set up an emergency pay gap fund to help bridge the 20% furlough pay gap for members as well as offering support to any member/non-member facing financial hardship, to help pay their rent and living expenses- and this support is ongoing.
However as the crisis unfolded, we started to see a rise in enquiries asking if OAPA could help in providing meals to homeless people across London. This was followed by a recent shocking report by The Guardian showing a surge in numbers of hospitality workers forced onto the streets due to job losses. In response, we set about introducing our hospitality employer partners with those charities looking to supply meals to the homeless and the response has been overwhelming.
THE STORY SO FAR
Yummy Pub Co to the rescue…
A few weeks ago 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.
Since then, the need has grown from 9 to 18 and now to 75 people receiving 3 meals a day! And this is set to rise to 150. With this and the ever growing enquiries for help, it then became clear that this was not just going to be a short term fix and that we would need to widen the support and supply chains to keep up with demand.
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, the Hospitality Against Homelessness Campaign has already received significant and generous support from a wide range of suppliers and companies including Yummy Pub Co., Paul Pavli and The Strand Palace Hotel, which is 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, 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.
The campaign is growing daily with more generous suppliers and donors coming on board – we are now co-ordinating the distribution of 6000 meals, 3000 drinks and numerous snacks per week to the homeless in London.
We are thrilled to also have the support of one of the UK’s most acclaimed and inspirational chefs, Tom Aikens. Tom has teamed up with us to launch a fundraising campaign to support the Campaign, the ‘Tom Aikens Charity Cooking Challenge’. The initiative will invite participants to cook a meal in 5 minutes, donate £5, nominate 5 friends to pass on the challenge, and share their videos to social media with #fiveminutefeast and #hospitalityagainsthomelessness
HOW CAN YOU SUPPORT OUR CAMPAIGN
Chef Tom Aikens in his Charity Cookery Challenge for Only A Pavement Away
to Hospitality Against Homelessness Campaign
Can you or your business help with food supplies, equipment, accommodation or volunteers?
WITH HUGE THANKS TO OUR GENEROUS CAMPAIGN SUPPORTERS
We’re proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with only a pavement away with the launch of the hospitality vs homelessness initiative supporting people made homeless by the covid-19 pandemic, including many hospitality workers. Our combined expertise and support network means that we can offer vital help to those who have fallen on the hardest of times removing them from what can be a hostile environment and getting them back on their feet again and ready to be part of our industry’s recovery
The guys at King George’s are enjoying the meals themselves, and one resident in particular (LN) wished to pass on his appreciation for the food. I think because it’s more “hearty” meals, they’re going down well here. And the packaging of them is beautiful!
Currently we have 23 families that are asking for support with food and there are 37 children.
Many thanks once again for your help, you’re amazing.