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Easter Sunday... it’s the same struggle at Whitechapel Mission feeding the homeless in ‘lockdown London’

PUBLISHED: 18:22 12 April 2020 | UPDATED: 18:22 12 April 2020

Volunteers have been serving up breakfast every day for several years, like here, but now especially needed during the lockdown crisis. Picture: Steve Rowe/Whitechapel Mission

Volunteers have been serving up breakfast every day for several years, like here, but now especially needed during the lockdown crisis. Picture: Steve Rowe/Whitechapel Mission

Steve Rowe Photography

A “very busy Easter Sunday” has been under way at the Whitechapel Mission helping the homeless and those on the streets during the lockdown crisis.

Whitechapel Mission... holds daily 'breakfast challenges' where voluntees cook a meal for up to 300 people, many who may have not eaten since yesterday’'s breakfast. Picture: GoogleWhitechapel Mission... holds daily 'breakfast challenges' where voluntees cook a meal for up to 300 people, many who may have not eaten since yesterday’'s breakfast. Picture: Google

The centre has a “continued high demand” for hot meals during the bank holiday weekend so far.

Volunteers are cooking for as many as 300 people turning up each morning at the mission in Whitechapel Road.

“Numbers continue to rise,” their spokesman said. “People struggle to find services offering food over the Bank Holiday weekend.”

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But the Mission struggles to find the cash to keep the breakfast run going day after day. It relies on donations as well as volunteers to continue the work they have been doing since 1876.

Rail commuters on the East London Line responded in the months before the lockdown to fundraising by London Overground operators by handing in their loose change. It reached £6,000 to keep the mission kitchens running for the homeless.

Mission director Tony Miller said at the time: “We are concerned with the rise in the numbers of people sleeping rough and the amount of begging across London, but pleased that commuters are making a difference to the genuine rough sleepers.”

The mission’s work includes meeting the immediate needs by providing food, shelter, clothing and medical facilities. But it goes on to train and support the homeless “to reach their full potential” through its recovery programmes.

Wellwishers are being urged to make online donation to the Whitechapel Mission.


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