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Food For All: King’s Cross homeless charity that serves vegetarian grub to hundreds every day appeals for donations

PUBLISHED: 10:21 05 March 2018 | UPDATED: 14:09 05 March 2018

Food For All's distribution van in York Way, King's Cross, during the snow storm last week. Picture: Food For All

Food For All's distribution van in York Way, King's Cross, during the snow storm last week. Picture: Food For All

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Snow storms, like the ones we had last week, always give us perspective when it comes to rough sleeping. But charities like Food For All have that perspective all year round.

Food For All's distribution van in York Way, King's Cross, during the snow storm last week. Picture: Food For AllFood For All's distribution van in York Way, King's Cross, during the snow storm last week. Picture: Food For All

Six days a week, between 2pm and 2.30pm, Food For All hands out hundreds of healthy, vegetarian meals from its van in York Way, King’s Cross.

“A lot of people come every day,” organiser Peter O’Grady says. “There’s a lot more than we used to have. You see people camping out on the street before we even open up. Again, that never happened before.

“I think so many people are no longer entitled to benefits that they are forced into this. At least we can give them a meal six days a week. There’s the risk of them stealing if we don’t feed them.

“It’s bad enough being on the streets. Can you imagine it with the recent weather we’ve had? A hot meal can make a difference, and there’s a big difference between a hot meal and a cold sandwich.

“Up until about 15 years ago, everyone knows King’s Cross was the red light area, with a drug problem. That stopped with all the developments here, but it didn’t cure anything. It just moved people on to another area. Now we see so many homeless people instead.”

"It’s bad enough being on the streets. Can you imagine it with the recent weather we’ve had?"

Peter O’Grady, Food For All

So why is Food For All vegetarian? There are a number of factors, Peter explains. “Vegetarian means the food will be suitable for Muslim clients, for example. And when you’re collecting food, you can tell how old a vegetable is but not a piece of meat.

“Another thing is, you are what you eat. Veggie dishes are very healthy. Eating fresh, wholesome and healthy vegetables is good for the consciousness.”

Peter, and his Food For All colleagues, are not the only people doing good work in the King’s Cross community. As reported in the Gazette last week, Paul and Nicky Campbell – owners of pie deli Piebury Corner at the bottom of Caledonian Road – give their leftover pies, mash and roast potatoes to the local homeless population every night.

Peter is happy so many people are in tune with this thinking.

“Food For All has got very good volunteers. One from Islington recently moved to Gloucester, but she still comes in on the train to volunteer every Wednesday. We have lots of local people who care.”

Food For All's distribution van in York Way, King's Cross, during the snow storm last week. Picture: Food For AllFood For All's distribution van in York Way, King's Cross, during the snow storm last week. Picture: Food For All

Food For All, which turns 25 this year, is appealing for egg-free pasta. For more information, and to get involved, email foodforalluk@gmail.com

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