March take-away shows true Christmas spirit with free meals for those in need
Those facing Christmas homeless on the streets or on the beat keeping us safe can enjoy a free festive feast thanks to the generosity of a local fast-food takeaway.
Staff at the Eastern Promise in March High Street will be opening their doors on Christmas Day to feed the homeless or lonely as well as emergency workers.
From 12pm to 2pm anyone who needs a hot meal is welcome to pop in and enjoy free food, no questions asked.
The cost of the meals provided will be paid for by staff members, who will also be dishing up the tasty treats that include pizza slices, burgers, donner meat with chips and a drink.
Mohammed Ishfaq, owner and manager of Eastern Promise, said: "We try to do our bit to help those who are less well off all through the year, but have decided this Christmas to open for a couple of hours for the homeless who don't have the luxury of enjoying a hot meal with their family on Christmas day.
"We also want to show our gratitude to the emergency workers, police, ambulance, nurses, doctors, firefighters, who don't have any choice but to work and help keep us safe, so they are also welcome to pop in and grab a free meal
“The cost of the meals is going to be sponsored by myself and all of my staff.”
Eastern Promise has worked with with March foodbank throughout the year, providing free meals to people who were struggling to keep up financially, through a voucher system, but Mohammed said demand for that has dropped off in recent times because of covid.
However the take-away will be re-starting the scheme with the foodbank in the New Year.
Mohammed, who said the staff will be enjoying a party with their families on Christmas Day evening, added:"We consider ourselves to be very lucky, we have a roof over our heads, a warm home and hot food on the table. It is hard to understand how difficult it is for homeless people especially at this time of year when it is so cold.
"They may not have had the same opportunities we had. Single mothers may not have the support they need around them to help when they are struggling, so we like to do our bit to help.
"We are blessed, we have everything we need and Christmas is a good time to share our blessings. We are there for whoever needs us this Christmas Day.
“If they’ve got nothing to look forward, or will be struggling with difficulties on the street, we want to let them know we are here and willing to help them on this special festive day - it is our gift to them."