Food for Thought: Home for Christmas?
Home is where the heart is especially at this time of year. We are bombarded with images of festive families cosying up for a happy Christmas but according to latest statistics, more than 50,000 households across England are officially homeless as repossession rates and unemployment rise.
Of these households, 63% include children. Add to this the 2,181 people counted as sleeping rough on the country’s streets on any one night – a figure charities such as Shelter and Crisis at Christmas dismiss as ‘just the tip of the iceberg’ – and the picture of seasonal comfort and joy looks a lot less rosy.
But before such unpalatable statistics make your mince pie hard to swallow, you can do something about it and it needn’t cost you a penny.
Between December 23rd and 30th, Crisis at Christmas will be opening 10 centres across London for an expected 3,000 homeless guests, who will be offered companionship, hot meals, warmth and a range of medical and other services to help bring some cheer to their lives. In addition, Crisis Skylight provides all year round, life changing services for homeless people through centres in Oxford, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Liverpool, two centres in London and a further two new centres scheduled to open in Coventry and Sheffield next year. If you have fresh produce that you anticipate being left over by the time you reach your Christmas shut down, don’t bin it. Instead contact Crisis’ resource manager Neil Kennedy and arrange to donate it to Crisis at Christmas. Says Neil: “We have an amazing supporter in the Chiltern Cold Storage Group, which stores and delivers donated food to our centres.
“We especially need meat and poultry, but we are grateful for whatever can be spared as we have an increased number of guests to feed this year.”
London-based Hensons Foodservice, which traditionally donates its Christmas dated cheese and dairy products to Crisis, has already also pledged 2,012 beef burgers. In this season of goodwill to all, it’s something to chew over.
To contact Neil, telephone 020 70362676 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.