A soup kitchen serving homeless people in Bournemouth is expanding its vital service to meet increased demand.
Hope for Food will open its free service on an extra night of the week starting this month, to reach out to more people in need.
Founded by Claire Matthews, the group already serves over 80 people a night at St Andrew’s Church car park on a Tuesday and Thursday, soon to be serving hot meals on a Saturday night from 6.30pm.
Ms Matthews said: “There is a need in Bournemouth for what Hope for Food do. If the council could provide this type of service, my work would not be necessary.”
HISTORY OF HOPE FOR FOOD
Ms Matthews set up Hope for Food in Winter 2012 when her friend explained her situation between choosing to heat her home or eat.
Ms Matthews provides her guests with meals working with a weekly budget of £100.
Thirty regular volunteers work for Hope for Food and it is busy all year round with increasing visitor numbers every night.
Hope for Food also provide furniture, clothing, bedding and accommodation advice, as well as an eBay site to fund their account.
“It’s like a one-stop shop really!”, said Ms Matthews. “At the end of the day, we were put on this Earth, we didn’t ask to be born. Everybody needs somebody to look after them, and that’s what I intend to do.”
Hope for Food plan to expand their services.
Fia Dyer, a student volunteer, said: “I think extending the kitchen to serve Saturdays as well is the next step to expanding. Hopefully we will see some familiar and new faces.”
Ms Matthews said: “I want a unit where I can feed and clothe them, but ultimately where they can do it for themselves. It might take me a couple of years but I will definitely get it.”
Hope for Food are now currently only £1000 away from gaining charity status, but often have to use these funds to keep the organisation running.