NextMeal: Muswell Hill founded soup kitchen app celebrates birthday as PM honours founder
PUBLISHED: 10:48 30 September 2018
The voluntary director of a pioneering Muswell Hill soup kitchen, who also created NextMeal.co.uk, has been honoured by the Prime Minister.
It comes a year after he launched the revolutionary website and app, which helps the homeless find organisations in their area offering food or shelter.
Martin Stone, who has just released a new update to the app – it is now able to tell users of kitchens opening in the next two hours – has also been singled out for praise by local councillors.
Martin told the Ham&High: “The recognition just helps us gain credibility.
“We’re trying to grow NextMeal everywhere, and it’s hugely helpful to have the backing when I’m knocking on doors in, say, Burton-on-Trent.
Former Fortis Green councillor Patrick Berryman, who now represents Bounds Green, this week wrote to the Ham&High to praise Martin’s work.
Cllr Berryman said: “The work of people like Martin and his many volunteers in the kitchen [at the Baptist Church, Dukes Avenue, N10] is literally life-saving.
“Anyone who has met Martin will know this is a man who can be judged by his actions, not only his words.
“When he told me back in early 2017, as the new kitchen was unveiled, that his next plan was an app to help feed people living on the street, I knew it would be a case of ‘watch this space’.”
Martin added: “It’s incredible.
“For the first time ever we have got more than 270 soup kitchens all linked together.
“It’s a gold standard of open data.
“NextMeal also gives would-be volunteers an easy way to get involved. It’s easy to find a soup kitchen to go to for them to.”
He continued: “In Muswell Hill we want to be a soup kitchen others can look to for advice and guidance.
“I want to encourage everyone with ideas like mine to just run with them.
“And ahead of autumn and a cold winter which will be difficult for the homeless, we really want to continue to get our name and the NextMeal cards out there, so people are able to find food if they need it.”
Martin advocates passing NextMeal cards – which link to the app – to the homeless. You can print them off from NextMeal.co.uk.