London’s restaurant-goers are being urged to make “a small gesture for a big problem” and support an annual campaign raising money to help tackle homelessness.
More than 530 restaurants have signed up for StreetSmart’s fundraiser which runs over this month and next and encourages diners to donate £1 per table. Among the venues involved are Barrafina, MEATliquor and St John as well as well as restaurants inside Harvey Nichols and Selfridges.
Jeremy Lee from Quo Vadis in Soho said: “StreetSmart’s secret is that it’s dead simple. Today we can feel far too busy and serious to do anything, but with this tiny effort you can end up with a large lump sum after Christmas. It’s a small gesture for a big problem.”
Dozens of the capital’s foodie pubs also take part, including the Princess Royal in Notting Hill, the Wells in Hampstead, the Cadogan Arms in Chelsea and the Cyclist in Balham.
Also getting involved are Piccadilly landmark Fortnum & Mason, Granger & Co and D&D London restaurants which includes Coq d’Argent and the Bluebird Cafe.
The funds raised will go to the partnership between StreetSmart and the Felix Project which provides meals to those in need created from food that would have otherwise gone to waste.
Felix Project co-founder Jane Byam Shaw said: “Our partnership with StreetSmart has funded more than 3.6 million meals over six years. Support is needed more than ever as the cost-of-living crisis hits hard.”
The money benefits more than 50 homelessness charities every year and helps to pay for everything from a bed for the night to job support.
Among the projects supported is a soup kitchen at the American Church in central London which provides free meals and clothing to more than 150 people a day. They also have an on-site mental health drop-in centre and are helped by hundreds of volunteers including former MasterChef judge Monica Galetti. She said: “StreetSmart is so easy and all the money goes direct to people most in need.”
For a list of participating restaurants visit streetsmart.org.uk