A meal for the homeless

On the day of his funeral, Professor Stephen Hawking’s family donated an Easter meal for 50 homeless people in Cambridge. It was held at Wesley Methodist Church, about a kilometre away from where mourners gathered on Saturday to celebrate his life. A touching note, signed by “the Hawking family”, was left on the tables and told the 50 guests that the lunch was a “gift from Stephen”. Organisers of the event, run by the charity FoodCycle, said the much-loved professor was given a “little cheer” by diners before they tucked into their meals. FoodCycle Cambridge said: “We’re so grateful to the Hawking family for their generous donation so we could give our guests an extra special Easter meal yesterday. A heartwarming gesture from the Hawking family that no doubt provided great cheer and comfort to the homeless.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe, another act of generosity, and another special Easter Day meal at Pilgrim Uniting Church. This year the meal was served to about 100 people in a delightful ‘al fresco’ setting in the Pilgrim Plaza area at the rear of the church, making the most of a balmy autumn evening.

Twice a year, on Easter Day and Christmas Day, the Australia Angels for the Homeless  (coordinated by the amazing Steffan Joseph) prepares a meal for homeless, and disadvantaged people. This has been happening for 10+ years, with Steffan bringing together a huge number of volunteers, and preparing a veritable banquet for those who rarely have anything to celebrate. Food and other items are donated and some are purchased for the meal, with takeaway bags with treats for each person, and a toiletries bag with a range of personal care items.

In addition to the meal, some guests at the special events enjoy an opportunity to have a haircut, manicure and massage.

This is truly inspirational. Congratulations to Steffan and his team.

And for the other Sundays evenings in the year, Pilgrim Uniting Church hosts the Sunday Night Tea program for homeless and disadvantaged people, with numbers averaging around 60-80 people each night. Volunteers from Pilgrim as well as other churches and the wider community provide a warm welcome, and nutritious food.

(If you want to find out more about the Sunday Night Tea program, or how you can be involved in supporting the special Easter and Christmas events, please contact Pilgrim Uniting Church, office@pilgrim.org.au, 8212 3295).