Dame Helen Mirren has urged the people of Manchester to help raise money for homeless and vulnerable people in an appeal launched by Just Eat and Social Bite. Other well-known faces including Rob Brydon and Sir Chris Hoy have posted videos backing the new Christmas Meal Appeal launched by Just Eat in partnership with charities Social Bite & FoodCycle.

The appeal comes after reports detail the increasing issue of homelessness in the UK, and the increased pressure and reliance on charities as the nation deals with the economic and social fallout of the Covid pandemic.

2020 has been like no other, but one positive outcome from this exceptionally challenging year is the sense of community and camaraderie that has emerged. Over 50% of Mancunians said they want to do more to help those less fortunate this Christmas and over 70% said that the pandemic has made them more appreciative of the life they lead and the comforts they enjoy.

The funds raised will be distributed by Social Bite, who support homeless people through meal donations, to three different charities throughout Manchester including Depaul UK, Booth Centre and FoodCycle who all help those affected by homelessness. The initiative has also been praised by former government advisor on homelessness, Dame Louise Casey, who remains one of the UK’s most active advocates around the issues of homelessness and food poverty.

The Just Eat Christmas Meal Appeal is the perfect opportunity to help out and give back as we move towards the Christmas celebration, with many of us now hoping to be able to spend it with at least some of our family and friends. Just Eat has committed to raising funds for at least 100,000 Christmas meals for homeless and vulnerable people and with support from customers, are aiming to fund up to 200,000. Customers can take part by clicking the donation button whilst they order their takeaway. They’ll have the choice of making a £3, £5 or £10 donation and Just Eat will match it, pound for pound.

Andrew Kenny UK MD for Just Eat commented: “After an exceptionally difficult year for so many, we’re proud to partner with Social Bite & FoodCycle, matching customers’ donations pound for pound to provide tens of thousands of Christmas meals for the UK’s homeless and vulnerable people.”

Josh Littlejohn from Social Bite added: “This year has been a lot more difficult than most, with many people finding themselves financially vulnerable and in the worst-case, homeless. We know that Christmas, in particular, can be a very challenging time which is why we’re delighted to be partnering with Just Eat for the Christmas Meal Appeal to help fill at least 100,000 plates this year all over the UK’.

Mark McGreevy, Depaul Group Chief Executive said: “This year has been incredibly challenging for everyone and even more so for the most vulnerable members of our society.

“We’re proud to be working with Social Bite and Just Eat, allowing us to provide meals around Christmas and throughout the winter period to those in Manchester who may be spending it alone and without a decent meal.

“I’d encourage anyone who can, to make the donation when they order from Just Eat. This small contribution can go such a long way and make a huge difference to those who need help the most during this festive period.”

Charlotte Vale, Communications and Impact Officer at The Booth Centre said: “We’re excited to be a part of the Just Eat campaign which will enable us to help people affected by homelessness this winter.

“Our 5* hygiene rated training kitchen is an important part of the holistic support we offer, this campaign will ensure the Booth Centre continues to offer two hot meals providing our visitors with 3 of their 5 a day. As well as a whole week of socially distanced Christmas lunches!”

Mary McGrath, FoodCycle CEO says: “We are delighted that Just Eat are supporting FoodCycle again this winter. The Christmas Meal Appeal will help us provide nutritious meals to the thousands of people who simply cannot afford to buy food, including low income families, the elderly, key workers, students and asylum seekers.”


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