Keeping a soup kitchen open in coronavirus times

Muswell Hill Soup Kitchen has introduced a takeaway service to ensure it can continue to prove nutritious meals for the homeless during these extraordinary times. The Ham & High came along to see it in action.

Muswell Hill soup kitchen team prepares for a takeaway service.

5 Easy Ways You Can Help a Homeless Person (That Don’t Involve Giving Money)

There is a lot of debate about whether you should give money to homeless people.

Some argue it is better to give that money to an organisation committed to helping homeless people. A common argument against giving homeless people money is: ‘they’ll just spend it on drugs or alcohol’.

But who’s to say what a homeless person will spend their money on? And it can be quite difficult and cold to simply turn a blind eye to those in need. 

Do you turn your music up? Keep reading your book? Look away? Or politely say no?

There are plenty of ways you can help that don’t involve giving someone money, but that can still have a positive impact.

Here are a few suggestions, but it’s up to you to do whatever you feel comfortable doing.

Here are some ways you can help:

Buy someone food

Is there someone begging outside a supermarket? Buy them a sandwich or a non alcoholic drink instead of giving them money. 

Carry some small items of food with you

If you regularly pass someone begging for money, you could buy some food in advance and give it to them when you see them. Fruit and cereal bars are just a couple of ideas.

Give them a Next Meal card

The whole purpose of Next Meal is to help homeless people in a huge way, that can improve their lives much more than a few coins ever could.
If you don’t feel comfortable just giving them a card, you could give them a card along with some food, or some money, if you wish.

Donate to a homeless charity

Put your spare change aside and once you have hit a certain goal, donate that to a homeless charity of your choice. Or simply sign up for monthly payments, or make a one off payment.

Volunteer 

There are thousands of organisations across the UK that can use volunteers; soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and more. You can use NextMeal.com to find your nearest group.

How to get Next Meal cards:

  1. Go to Next Meal.co.uk and find your nearest soup kitchen.
  2. Contact them and ask how you can help, or if you can pick up Next Meal cards.
  3. Even just one card could make a huge difference to someone’s life.

How to make an easy New Year’s Resolution and help a person in need

2020 is here. The start of a new year. The start of a new decade.

So it’s time for some resolutions right?

Did you know: Research has shown that most people give up on their resolutions before the end of January.

So why not tick an easy one off within the first month of the year?

Here’s a few easy suggestions for resolutions to help other people – that’ll no doubt make you feel better about yourself too.

Volunteer 

There are thousands of organisations across the UK that can use volunteers; soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and more. You can use NextMeal.co.uk to find your nearest group.

Give out Next Meal cards

The Next Meal website can direct homeless and vulnerable people to the nearest soup kitchen, shelter, or day centre on any given day.

Next Meal cards are an easy way to spread the word and let people know they can use the Next Meal website. 

If you don’t feel comfortable just giving someone a card, you could give them a card along with some food, or some money, if you wish.

Next Meal Saturday is coming up on January 25 – a great opportunity to get involved and make a difference. Check out our Facebook page for more information.

Donate to a homeless charity

Put your spare change in a jar and once it’s full donate it to a homeless charity of your choice. Or you could sign up for monthly payments, or simply make a one off payment.

5 steps to achieve a 5* food safety rating

5 star Food Hygiene Rating graphic

Having spoken to centres around the country, we know that the biggest concerns are Food, Funding and Safety. Our first edition focuses on food safety.

Food safety should be the number one priority for every centre and these straightforward steps will help you achieve the best hygiene rating.

The Food Standards Agency provides helpful guidance for any organisation serving food to the public:

1. The four main things to remember for good hygiene are the 4 Cs:

                 – Cleaning

                 – Cooking 

                 – Chilling

                 – Cross-contamination

2. Obtain the Food Safety level 2 course for all operatives (many can be achieved online).

3. Ensure that you have a contract with a registered pest control company. They can provide lots of helpful advice and guidance.

4. Engage positively with the Council Environmental Health Inspectors.

5. Never be complacent. Carry daily, weekly and monthly checks and always have an evidence trail.

If you’d like to contribute your ideas to improving safety please let us know – contact martin.stone@nextmeal.co.uk

Happy cooking!!!