Westminster council, with help of McDonald’s and Chelsea Football Club, provides 900 meals for homeless people every day

By Owen Sheppard, Local Democracy Reporter

A town hall is preparing 900 meals for homeless people every day.

Westminster council, which takes in the West End and has the highest population of rough sleepers in Britain, is providing two meals for 450 people each day.

McDonald’s and Chelsea Football Club are also helping to make and distribute the meals.

Nearly 300 places in central London hotels have also been provided to Westminster’s homeless population during the coronavirus lockdown.

And black cab drivers have been asked to volunteer to transport homeless people to the hotels.

On the eve of the lockdown, rough sleepers in Victoria were worried they might not get donations from passers-by, and how to maintain social distancing in homeless hostels.

Westminster council has now unveiled a huge catering operation which is happening daily on the 19th floor of its Victoria Street offices.

The council’s catering is run by Unity Works, an organisation which also supports people with learning disabilities.

Chelsea Football Club’s first team made a donation to help pay for the dinners, the council has said. McDonald’s is providing lettuce, tomatoes and milk to use in the food parcels.

Council leader Rachael Robathan joined in with preparing the food parcels on March 31. On the menu that day was aromatic couscous with a cheese and onion slice.

Ms Robathan said: “The volunteers and employees helping at Unity Kitchen are just one example of the fantastic groundswell of support we have had from local people in Westminster.

“They are working flat out every day to get meals to more than 400 people who otherwise might struggle. The Unity Kitchen is running from breakfast to dinner and I was grateful to have the opportunity to thank everyone involved.

“These are incredibly tough times for everyone, but residents in Westminster should know they are not alone, and we are there to support them.”

Pictured top: Cllr Rachael Robathan pictured with head chef, Brian Fantoni

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