If you are homeless and need help during the current coronavirus crisis, please call 0300 500 0914.

Mary Berry supports The Passage’s campaign to feed London’s homeless

Mary Berry has answered The Passage’s call for support towards their Donate Your Dinner campaign to feed London’s homeless during the pandemic. Her recipe for a special Rainbow Tuna Pasta Bake will be prepared and delivered to over 300 homeless people in emergency accommodation and 40 residents living in the charity’s sheltered accommodation, Passage House, tomorrow.

Homeless people continue to be disproportionately affected by the coronavirus outbreak; a number of shelters remain closed, leaving people with limited or no access to food and at greater risk of contracting the virus due to poor health. The Passage has been responding rapidly to the crisis by delivering food parcels to over 300 rough sleepers in safe and supported temporary accommodation daily. As well as keeping them fed, the priority now is to ensure that they do not return to the streets when the crisis subsides, with the charity working towards moving rough sleepers into sustainable housing in the private rented sector to end their homelessness for good.

Commenting on the campaign, Mary Berry said, “homeless people always need our help, please support generously, Donate Your Dinner Campaign really will make a difference to those who need it most. The Passage is a godsend, there is always a warm welcome for everyone.”

The charity’s Donate Your Dinner is an online campaign asking supporters to donate £10, the equivalent cost that they might spend on their dinner, to fund an emergency food parcel, containing breakfast, lunch, snacks and a hot meal for a homeless person. Although £10 is the suggested amount, people are encouraged to give whatever they can.

The campaign has raised £233,000 to date, but needs to raise an additional £67,000 in just 1 week to cover the total cost of the Food Hub, whilst sustainable accommodation is sourced. As lockdown begins to ease, the concern is that the needs of vulnerable people will start to be forgotten, so Mary Berry’s support marks a welcome development.

Last year, the former Great British Bake Off judge appeared on a BBC Christmas special, visiting the Passage, alongside the Duke of Cambridge, raising £90,000 for its frontline homelessness services.

Mick Clarke, The Passage’s Chief Executive said, “we are very grateful to Mary for her enduring commitment to The Passage. Her visit to The Passage at Christmas brought joy to many of our clients who had the opportunity to share their stories with her over tea and biscuits, and now her support during the Donate Your Dinner campaign, which will help to raise much-needed awareness of the ongoing need to provide vital meals to feed London’s homeless during this challenging time.’

Other well-known faces have also got behind the campaign, with musicians Ellie Goulding  and Muse, Stephen Fry, Radio 4’s Nick Robinson, comedian, Dara O’Brien, and MP Penny Mourdant among the list of celebrities raising awareness, providing culinary inspiration and making donations.

Visit www.passage.org.uk/dinner to view the full recipe and donate.

Notes to editor: please contact the media team on 0784 334 2232 or email [email protected]