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Wednesday, 03 September 2014

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Carlisle takeaway boss pledges free meal to homeless each week

A Carlisle businessman has pledged to donate hot meals to the city’s homeless.

Abdul Harid photo
Abdul Harid, left, with hostel manager Peter Rhodes

Abdul Harid wants to support residents of the John Street hostel, which is near his Currymaster takeaway in Caldewgate.

He has agreed that once a week they will provide all the men staying at the hostel with a hot meal.

Mr Harid, who is also a city councillor, is urging other local restaurants and takeaways to do the same.

He told the News & Star: “These men come into the hostel with nothing but the clothes they are wearing. They might not have had a decent meal for weeks.

“I met one of the members of staff last week and I really felt moved by what I heard. I have decided to give these men one proper meal once a week, every week. Currymaster is just around the corner. We are a community business and this is about working for the local community.

“I hope more will now do the same.”

Mr Harid said there were more than 250 restaurants, takeaways and food retailers in Carlisle.

“If they all did something we could really help the homeless and people having difficulties in life,” he added. “It’s just about community responsibility.”

A spokeswoman for the city council, which runs the hostel, thanked Mr Harid.

“We’re delighted with the offer of support and would encourage other businesses and individuals to provide whatever help they can,” she said.

The council is currently appealing for people to donate unwanted items – from crockery and towels to toiletries – for both the John Street hostel and the one for women and families in Water Street.

“Both are emergency temporary accommodation and residents often check into the hostels with very few possessions or day-to-day necessities, with no money to buy them,” the spokeswoman said.

“The hostels are currently running very low on some things and appealing for donations.”

Anyone who can spare household items is asked to drop them off at the hostels or at the civic centre, during normal office hours.

Items in short supply include towels, flannels, soup bowls, mugs, cooking utensils, pots and pans, and cutlery. Long life food – such as tinned fruit, vegetables, pasta etc – is also wanted.

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