As the days get shorter, the nights get colder. Reports show next week’s temperature is set to reach zero yet again. In a week where Birmingham’s homelessness hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons, a group of campaigners have taken the issue into their own hands, pulling the city’s restaurants and residents together to take to the streets.
Let’s Feed Brum, a campaign to supply Birmingham’s homeless with food and supplies, has signed up restaurants across the city including Chop & Wok, Umami Harborne, Gabriels Traditional Fish and Chips and Itihass who will all donate hot food one night a week at Inspiration Support’s New Street Soup Kitchen outside HSBC on New Street.
The support from Birmingham’s eateries has already made a huge difference to the soup kitchen, now between 50-100 homeless people can be served a night. Before the Let’s Feed Brum campaign launched, Inspiration Support was able to provide cold sandwiches, salads, and desserts donated from local cafes. As well as this, hot drinks and supplies are donated by its volunteers.
Now, with the tremendous donations from Itihaas, Chop & Wok, Umami Harborne, and Gabriels, more than 400 meals are provided weekly, ensuring hot food for the homeless for five nights.
Speaking about the decision to get involved in Let’s Feed Brum, Umami Harborne’s General Manager Abdul Hoque, stated:
It’s a fantastic way to support the homeless. They need to see that someone cares, particularly for this cold time of year. A hot cooked meal in this weather can lift their morale. It’s a wonderful idea and we urge more restaurants to join.
The momentum that the Let’s Feed Brum campaign has gathered coincides with devastating news. Last week the city was left in shock after learning that a homeless man lost his life on the coldest night of the year when temperatures in the city dropped as low as minus six degrees.
This heartbreaking news came alongside statistics that were released detailing that around 10,000 people are sleeping rough in the city. Mr Hoque added:
Homelessness might be something that we all see each day but that shouldn’t stop us making it a priority. What I’ve seen with the Let’s Feed Brum campaign, is that there is a huge wellspring of goodwill out there.
If you would like to help Inspiration Support and Let’s Feed Brum follow the link below. They aim to have 30-35 volunteers out every night to serve food and check on the rough sleepers. If you have time to give, or just want to donate food, drink and supplies, get in touch: www.letsfeedbrum.com.