Sand­wich An­gels pro­vide life­line for the home­less

Glossop Advertiser - - Front Page - Han­nah But­ler

EACH week they make al­most 3,000 sand­wiches for the re­gion’s rough sleep­ers.

The team of vol­un­teers – dubbed the Sand­wich An­gels – tack­les a moun­tain of loaves do­nated by lo­cal su­per­mar­kets, turn­ing them into much­needed butties for 18 lo­cal soup kitchens.

The idea – from the An­gels’ founder Christina Howard – was to take the pres­sure off the vol­un­teers who run the soup kitchens pro­vid­ing a life­line for the lo­cal home­less com­mu­nity.

“I thought I’d take the stress off them, so all they have to do is take the food,” Christina said.

“I got nick­named the ‘sand­wich an­gel,’ which is where the name of the group comes from.”

Orig­i­nally, in 2014 she supplied four soup kitchens – but as more and more got in­volved things started get­ting out of hand.

“I needed help – there were just too many soup kitchens!”

Christina sent out a call on Face­book for lo­cal vol­un­teers to help out.

“No­body be­lieved I was mak­ing that many sand­wiches,” she said.

But luck­ily a few of the soup kitchens were on hand to prove Christina wasn’t jok­ing, and soon she had some re­cruits.

Ev­ery Wed­nes­day and Thurs­day the team of be­tween five and 20 peo­ple gather in St Mary’s Com­mu­nity Hall in New­ton, Hyde, at 9am to tackle the moun­tains of loaves do­nated by su­per­mar­kets and lo­cal peo­ple.

“The vol­un­teers are from all walks of life,” Christina said, and in­clude po­lice of­fi­cers, teach­ers, doc­tors, bar­ris­ters and pen­sion­ers.

Peo­ple do­nate tins of tuna, corned beef and ham, and soup kitchens put in a weekly or­der de­pend­ing on how many sand­wiches they think they’ll need – or how many they can carry.

Many go out at the week­end, so Christina still spends hours mak­ing hun­dreds of sand­wiches at home each week. But she says it’s a wor­thy cause.

“Ev­ery­body should be fed,” she said.

Tesco do­nates left­over loaves on a Tues­day evening, and Mor­risons Hyde also have a close part­ner­ship with the group, pass­ing on un­sold food when they can.

The group also takes do­na­tions of sleep­ing bags, clothes, drinks and snacks.

Although day­time tem­per­a­tures have soared in the past week, chilly night time tem­per­a­tures mean there is ‘still a big de­mand for sleep­ing bags,’ Christina said.

Bot­tled water is an­other high-pri­or­ity item.

“But our main prob­lem is bread,” Christina said. “We of­ten end up hav­ing to ask vol­un­teers to bring a loaf with them.

“We’re also al­ways look­ing for vol­un­teers to ei­ther make or help de­liver the sand­wiches.”

The group doesn’t take cash do­na­tions, but any­one want­ing to help can do­nate bread or tinned food to use as fill­ings at Mor­risons Hyde.

For more in­for­ma­tion con­tact the group di­rectly on 07713 973640.

DO­MINIC SALTER

●● Founder Christina Howard is ap­peal­ing for more do­na­tions as de­mand soars

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