Seven Weeks ago on Monday March 24th we started off a Free Soup kitchen operating out of 'Up a tree in Rosemount' café to feed the Elderly, incapacitated and struggling families and individuals.
We did not dream that there would be some many people out there in need of a meal. As our numbers grew so fast we were forced to open a 2nd outlet to relieve the pressure at the Buttercup Cafe on Racecourse Road.
Last week we passed 10,000 meals mark. All this was done by money from our own pockets and donations for the public.
When we started, we emailed every City Councillor on the Derry-Strabane Council inquiring about funding and asking for help. We received 2 replies, one of whom offered to help us by the end of that week - March 27th (We are Still waiting) . One Lady Councillor arrived at the café and congratulated us in what were doing and left to post photos of her visit on Facebook. We haven't seen or heard from her since.
Donations slowed and all but dried up this week, and it was only by putting out an appeal on Facebook, we manged to get enough to keep us open for another few weeks.
To date, we haven't not received one penny of funding, despite reading about the hundreds of thousands of public money being available for projects that help the most vulnerable in our Communities during this crisis.
We have 94 and 91 years old women that we deliver to everyday, seven days a week and scores more in their 70s and 80s. And wonder why we have been excluded from receiving even a bit of this funding.
We at the Free Soup kitchen in Up a tree In Rosemount community café, today have received a generous Donation of £2800 from Rosemount Resource Centre in partnership with the Foyleside community response team (GDI, BHCP, CRJ and Pennyburn Youth Club)
This kind donation will help ease the financial burden we are facing and allow us to keep going for the foreseeable future.
Apologies for any confusion caused with previous statements or posts.
I would like to extend our thanks to the big lottery (awards for all) who have funded this project that allows us to offer free food to those in need. We would also like to thank our Numerous Volunteers that have given their free time to cook, help with the daily running of the Café and with deliveries. Without you, all this couldn't happen, And last but not least, the folks at The Buttercup Café for opening a 2nd outlet that took the pressure off us.
As of this week, we passed the milestone of 10,000 free meals provided.