As of the 20th May Caring in Bristol’s Cheers Drive project will have delivered 50,000 takeaway meal packs in Bristol to those who are homeless and vulnerably housed. The project by the homelessness charity, launched on the 6th of April to support an immediate need during COVID19.
Cheers Drive feeds on average 380 homeless people per day, the majority of who have been moved by Bristol City Council from shelters and off the streets into places where they can self-isolate. This includes rough sleepers placed in hotel rooms, hostels and emergency accommodation across the city, as well as families who have been placed into temporary accommodation.
48% of meals are delivered to those temporarily housed in hotels in the city, 28% to those currently sleeping rough, 18% to those in hostels and shelters and 6% is delivered to vulnerably housed individuals.
Josh Eggleton of Pony and Trap, Salt and Malt and Channel 4 manages the three kitchens producing food for the project across Bristol, including his own at The Kensington Arms. He has help from Shona Graham of Emmeline and the Hatch at Spike Island alongside Dominic Borel of Pasta Loco.
Ben Richardson Caring in Bristol director says, “It was important for Caring in Bristol to react quickly to the needs of our community at a time of crisis, and we are incredibly proud of the vital support our Cheers Drive service is providing daily to those in need right now. We want to thank everyone in our community who has donated, delivered, chopped onions, packed and supported us towards this 50,000-meal milestone. Each meal pack supports someone in your community who is homeless and more exposed than ever during COVID19.”
Eve Russell Cheers Drive project manager says, “We have an amazing community of volunteers collecting, delivering and distributing the food to six locations across Bristol. As well as personally delivering to individuals who are being housed in B&Bs or hostels. We have been overwhelmed by the voluntary support from Bristol, and currently have around 150 volunteers working on the Cheers Drive project. Last week over 100 individuals donated 972 hours of their time and we couldn’t have reached this amazing milestone of delivering over 50,000 meals within two months if it weren’t for their valued support.”
During a recent Cheers Drive feedback survey, those receiving the meals told us; “10 out of 10”, “Very, very happy – big compliments!”, “Just thank you, you are all taking a risk and I’m so grateful.” And ‘Hard to find things that take my fancy, but I’ve really enjoyed everything!”.
Caring in Bristol are encouraging members of the public to continue their support of this service by gifting someone vulnerable a takeaway this bank holiday weekend. Cheers Drive feeds 400 homeless people per day and you can play your part by buying a takeaway, a donation of £10 could buy one freshly cooked hot meal, a packed lunch and breakfast delivered to someone who is homeless and vulnerable tonight.