Parting gift from Prof Stephen Hawking helps charity throw special Easter lunch

A charity was surprised with a parting gift from physicist Stephen Hawking on the day of his funeral.

Prof Hawking’s family made a donation towards a charity Easter lunch, calling it a “gift from Stephen”.

The gift allowed Cambridge-based FoodCycle, which provides meals to the hungry and lonely, to serve provide a special lunch to 50 guests.

Alex Collis tweeted: “Thank you to the family of #StephenHawking for so generously supporting today’s @FoodCycleCamb lunch in his memory…”

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Money donated by the Hawkings was put towards decorating the room and buying gifts for diners.

The meal was prepared from food that would otherwise be thrown away.

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The Cambridge FoodCycle is one of nearly 40 similar projects across the UK.

Its volunteers have been cooking meals every Saturday at Wesley Methodist Church in Cambridge city centre for eight years.

<em>Cheer – diners apparently had a cheer for Prof Hawking as they enjoyed the meal (Picture: Twitter/FoodCycle Cambridge)</em>
Cheer – diners apparently had a cheer for Prof Hawking as they enjoyed the meal (Picture: Twitter/FoodCycle Cambridge)

The lunch took place on the same day that Prof Hawking, who died last month aged 76, was laid to rest.

Crowds lined the streets outside Great St Mary’s church as around 500 invited guests, including a host of celebrities, joined his family for the private funeral.

Actor Eddie Redmayne gave a reading while Astronomer Royal Martin Rees also spoke.

The church bell tolled 76 times, once for each year of Prof Hawking’s life, as the solid oak coffin adorned with floral tributes arrived in a hearse.

A round of applause spontaneously broke out as Prof Hawking’s coffin was carried into the church by six porters from Cambridge University’s Gonville and Caius College, where he was a fellow for 52 years.

The funeral was followed by a private reception at Trinity College.

Prof Hawking’s ashes will be interred close to the remains of Sir Isaac Newton in Westminster Abbey on June 15.

(Top picture: Rex)