Volunteers set up two Islington soup kitchens for Christmas Day

Islington Christmas Day soup kitchen volunteers. 

Islington Christmas Day soup kitchen volunteers. - Credit: Ross Griffiths, Mark Appleby and Zak Vora

Islington residents rallied together to set up outdoor soup kitchens by Angel Station and Old Street Station on Christmas Day.

The initiative was open to all but focused on feeding the elderly, hungry and homeless around the borough.

A team of 13 volunteers handed out more than 300 meals from noon onwards on Christmas Day.

Two stalls were set up at each site to comply with the new Covid rules.

One of the stalls served tea, coffee and biscuits while the other served hot food including chicken Biriyani, vegetable curry and vegetarian samosas, as well as crisps, fruit, yoghurt and bottled water.

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The initiative also helped organisations whose volunteering efforts have been affected by Covid-19.

Volunteers handed out care packages from the Lighthouse Project and gave food to the Manna Project at St Stephen’s Church in Canonbury.

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Zak Vora, one of the volunteers who set up the soup kitchens, crowdfunded donations to cover the cost of the food and equipment.

He said he would feel “less Christmassy” if he wasn’t helping others.

“It’s supposed to be the season of giving," he said. 

“The one thing that is most precious to all is time. If you’re able to offer that up, that’s a pretty big thing.”

He added: “Our supplies on the day were supplemented by the generous donations from Hackney Foodbank, Lighthouse Project and Tesco’s.” 

Plans are under way to hold another soup kitchen on New Year’s Eve with the leftover resources and funding.

Soup kitchen volunteers at Angel on Christmas Day.

Soup kitchen volunteers at Angel on Christmas Day. - Credit: Ross Griffiths, Mark Appleby and Zak Vora

Islington councillor Phil Graham praised the efforts of those involved in running the soup kitchens.

He wrote on Facebook: “A massive thank you to the teams running the soup kitchen stalls on Old St and at Angel yesterday. They gave out over 300 meals to needy people in islington. 

“In the fifth richest country in the world this shouldn't even be a thing but while we as a people look up to and support the richest in society but vilify the needy and poorest, then heroes like these will always be needed.”

READ MORE: Islington Caribbean food stall at centre of community during pandemic

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