Baldock street food business set to feed the homeless this Christmas
- Credit: Picture: NICK JOHNS
A Letchworth businessman is preparing to launch a Hitchin soup kitchen for the homeless in December, and has been left amazed by the level of support from the community.
Shane Cole – owner of Baldock-based CC’s street food and catering – plans to provide warm food to the homeless in Hitchin throughout December from his street food trailer and has already started to compile Christmas boxes containing essentials.
The initiative, Feed Up Warm Up, will take place in the town every Thursday in December and will include hot food, food parcels, warm clothes, a haircut, sanitary items, and counselling.
All items and services have been donated to CC’s from various businesses in and around North Herts.
Shane told the Comet: “When I was 17 and fresh out of foster care I was homeless through November, December and January and I was living on the streets.
“I have never been in a position to start my own soup kitchen until now. I’ve got 15 businesses on board to sponsor us and other food outlets donating – even a chicken shop in Luton.
“We’ve also launched a Christmas box appeal, asking for the essentials – gloves, socks, hats, toothpaste – which will be distributed in December to people on the streets.
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“We also want to come to Stevenage and do the same – we’re looking for Stevenage businesses in the coming weeks. If we can get the backing, we will come to both Hitchin and Stevenage all through December. “I know we can’t help everybody – but even if we can help just 10 people it will be worth it.”
Off the back of the success and interest already shown in the scheme, the 31-year-old from Letchworth says he hopes to turn Feed Up Warm Up into a registered charity and continue to help those living on the streets all year round. He has chosen Hitchin, and potentially Stevenage, to start as he says homelessness is most visible in these towns.
As well as serving food, the kitchen will see counsellors, mental health specialists and a team from alcoholics anonymous come along to speak to those in need.
Shane asks anyone who’s interested in donating a Christmas box to have them ready for collection on December 1. You can contact him via the CC’s street food Facebook page and also donate to running costs of Feed Up Warm Up via gofundme.com/xmas-homeless-feed-up.
Since advertising the scheme, Shane has been inundated with messages from members of the public and businesses wishing to get involved, and has set up a meeting with Stevenage Haven to discuss how he can launch a similar scheme in the town.