Gem of Wisdom for Daily Reflection: 

Pathgate Expands Food For The Homeless To Include Families Struggling During Pandemic

With the pandemic leaving many people in hardship, Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche has increased the support that Pathgate gives for those in need in his home city Newcastle upon Tyne, by providing weekly deliveries of food supplies to two local charities, The People’s Kitchen and the West End Foodbank.

Two volunteers of the People’s Kitchen receiving food delivery

After years of providing a meeting place for the homeless to gather for hot meals, help and support, during the pandemic The People’s Kitchen has adapted to lockdown restrictions by providing a take-away service for the homeless, still providing around 140 hot meals every night; around 40,000 hot meals a year.

Since 2011, Pathgate has been delivering food supplies to The People’s Kitchen every week. During the pandemic, additional finance has been provided to support the provision of their take-away service. For Christmas 2020, Pathgate sponsored a take-away Christmas lunch to their regular guests in addition to provide additional finance for the charity to procure Christmas food hampers, sleeping bags, warm clothing and toiletries for the homeless and the disadvantaged friends of the charity.

John McCorry, the Chief Executive Officer of the West End Foodbank preparing a food parcel

The Newcastle West End Foodbank was set up to provide food-parcels to people who are struggling financially to make ends meet and to afford food for their families. In total, over 26,000 food-parcels were issued in the first half of 2020, up from about 16,000 a year earlier.

More than 40% of those benefitting from these food parcels are children. It took 154 tonnes of food to prepare the food parcels needed to feed these families. Between April and July 2020, their food-parcels fed 20,1000 people. This number is up by 210% when compared with the same period of the previous year.

Pathgate has been delivering food supplies every week to the West End Foodbank since the start of the pandemic. In addition to weekly food supply, financial support has also been provided for the charity to make bulk purchase of basic food items at wholesale prices.