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Hackney church and Caribbean restaurant set up soup kitchen in Well Street

PUBLISHED: 10:57 03 July 2020 | UPDATED: 10:57 03 July 2020

The Storehouse soup kitchen has been giving away free meals cooked by Sunlight Caribbean staff since the coronavirus lockdown began. Picture: Storehouse London

The Storehouse soup kitchen has been giving away free meals cooked by Sunlight Caribbean staff since the coronavirus lockdown began. Picture: Storehouse London

Storehouse London

A Hackney church and Well Street Caribbean restaurant are providing free meals for homeless people.

Owner of Sunlight Caribbean Restaurant Marvalyn Johnson. Picture: StorehouseOwner of Sunlight Caribbean Restaurant Marvalyn Johnson. Picture: Storehouse

The Regent’s Chapel had to shut down its soup kitchen called The Storehouse due to Covid-19 and so Hackney’s Sunlight Caribbean restaurant offered its services.

READ MORE: Broadway Market soup kitchen appeals for cash and helpers as demand soars

The restaurant has been handing out free food packages from its premises for the last 4 weeks.

Regent's Chapel Pastor Errol Francis outside Sunlight Caribbean restaurant in Well Street. Picture: Storehouse LondonRegent's Chapel Pastor Errol Francis outside Sunlight Caribbean restaurant in Well Street. Picture: Storehouse London

The church’s Pastor Errol Francis said: “We organise the 2-metre distance so people line up outside the shop and come in one at a time.

“All the food is already packed up in bags and often they get a choice. It could be curry goat, stewed chicken or jerk chicken or something like that.”

Homerton restaurant Swift Caribbean Delights donates free drinks to go with the meals.

The healthy Caribbean meals are free and come with a drink but are limited to the first 30 people who show up. Picture: Storehouse LondonThe healthy Caribbean meals are free and come with a drink but are limited to the first 30 people who show up. Picture: Storehouse London

Pastor Errol set up the soup kitchen, with his wife and joint Pastor Patsy, 10 years ago after having spent several years serving weekly hot meals to the homeless on Mare Street.

Many of the people visiting The Storehouse come from hostels and the pastor has tried to keep in touch with them if they have access to a phone.

“We give them a call once a week just to find out how they are and some are getting a bit depressed – many of them are missing the soup kitchen like mad,” he said.

Volunteers have been handing out meals to the homeless at Sunlight Caribbean restaurant over the last 4 weeks. Picture: Storehouse LondonVolunteers have been handing out meals to the homeless at Sunlight Caribbean restaurant over the last 4 weeks. Picture: Storehouse London

READ MORE: Volunteers dish up 100 Christmas dinners for soup kitchen guests in Broadway Market

He looks forward to reopening The Storehouse in the future once social distancing measures are put in place in the community hall it usually runs out of.

Pastor Errol says the sit down service offered before the lockdown will likely be replaced by a takeaway service when it reopens.

Volunteer Vernella hands out free food such as curry goat, curry chicken,oxtail, stew peas, served with rice and peas every Wednesday evening. Picture:: Storehouse LondonVolunteer Vernella hands out free food such as curry goat, curry chicken,oxtail, stew peas, served with rice and peas every Wednesday evening. Picture:: Storehouse London

The takeaway service at Sunlight Caribbean runs every Wednesday outside the restaurant from 7-8pm. Food packages are limited to the first 30 people.

To donate or volunteer follow @Storehouselondon on facebook, twitter and instagram

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If you’d like to get in touch with the soup kitchen email storehouselondon20@gmail.com

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