We’re getting a feeling of deja vu this Christmas, with restaurants shutting early and lots of people having to isolate, but fear not, there’s still plenty of holiday cheer going around – ’tis the season of giving after all. Not only are there businesses helping out with free food but if you’ve got some of your own to spare, or you’ve time or money you want to donate, here’s how you can do some good this festive season.
Pergola on the Wharf – After receiving a number of cancellations, Pergola on the Wharf is putting all their surplus produce to good use by offering free Christmas dinners to everyone who dines between 12pm – 6pm from 20th – 24th December. Pergola will be encouraging you to donate a fiver to Hospitality Action to help support the industry through what is turning out to be another very tricky time, and it’s a big old venue so there’s plenty of space for distancing too.
Crisis – This is the 50th year of the Crisis Christmas centres and as always, they need volunteers to run them. If you’d like to get involved, there are opportunities at hotels, day centres, and call centres as well as remotely over the phone.
Full Time Meals – Marcus Rashford & Tom Kerridge have teamed up to create a Christmas dinner, with enough leftovers to make a hash on Boxing Day, for just £10 for people using the government’s Healthy Start vouchers.
FoodCycle – Food charity FoodCycle, which helps to combat food waste and loneliness by serving up meals made from surplus food to those in need, is putting on free meals across the festive season. FoodCycle Peckham will be open on Christmas Day and New’s Year’s Day, with FoodCycle Bow Road open on New Year’s Eve, and volunteers are needed.
Choose Love pop-up shop – Buy gifts with purpose this Christmas at the Choose Love charity pop-up shop, which raises much-needed funds Help Refugees. Services like emergency medical care, a new start for a child bundle, and an Afghanistan bundle which funds organisations working in and around the country, will be on sale, alongside items for refugees that’ll be delivered where they’re most needed.
The Trussell Trust – Food banks rely on donations to function properly (over 90% of the food distributed by the Trussell Trust network comes from the public) so if you’ve got plenty of food in for Christmas this year and some spare to go around, see how and where you can donate here.
The Felix Project – The Felix Project, which collects surplus food that can’t be sold and delivers it to charities, schools and other places that make meals for those who need them. They urgently need volunteers to deliver food in the run-up to Christmas, so get in touch here.
26 Grains – 26 Grains and Stoney Street are running a raffle to help raise money to support their team during another difficult time for the hospo industry. The prize includes a private dinner for up to 20 at Stoney Street with a 10-course bespoke menu and wine pairings, breakfast goody bags and 10% discount cards. Each ticket costs a tenner and you’ve got until 29th December to buy as many as you like.
Toy Project at Selfridges – The department store has teamed up with North London-based charity The TOY Project for a pre-loved toy pop-up. The space is selling collectable figures, antique teddies and classic family-favourite games for Christmas as well as accepting toy donations, which will either be sold back through Selfridges, through the TOY Project’s own store, or donated to children through the charity. As well as helping to prevent unwanted toys going to landfill, the pop-up is raising funds for the charity’s initiatives like toy and book libraries and community events.
The Alexandra – This Wimbledon pub is serving up a free Christmas dinner (with wine) for anyone on their own on the big day, so if you are solo and don’t want to be, this is the place to go.