A café that provides cheap meals to around 100 needy people in the city could soon close after receiving a lack of donations.
The Granby Kitchen on Station Street has been running a ‘pay it forward’ scheme since March, but says it won’t be able to continue helping the community if people don’t donate more.
The scheme allows customers to buy a spoon, which counts as one discounted meal, then people who have fallen on hard times can use these to claim a three course meal for as little as £2.50.
The cafe has been relying on food donations from local supermarkets and public donations, so they could serve up meals twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 3pm and 6pm.
There are a lot of people in need.. and most of the time it’s not their fault
But donations are now running low, and the cafe’s owners are concerned that the scheme could end and The Granby Kitchen may face closure.
Speaking to Notts TV News in February, owner Wendy Baird said: “We don’t judge and we don’t ask people to prove their circumstances, we’ll feed anybody who asks us as long as we have enough spoons.”
“There are a lot of people in need, for various reasons – and most of the time it’s not their fault. The statistics show that we are all only three pay-packets away from being homeless, we should look after each other; as you never know if you’re going to be in that situation.”
The warning that the cafe could close comes after a controversial campaign was started by Nottingham City Council urging people not to give to beggars.
The Respect Survey, carried out by the council said that 31 per cent of respondents thought begging was a “fairly or very big problem”.
The results found that more people were more concerned about begging than they were about people being drunk or rowdy in public spaces.
Begging is a criminal offence and the city council has since been cracking down on begging incidents.
Prolific city beggar receives ban
A city beggar has received a two-year Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) which prevents him from begging in the city centre after a string of convictions by the Magistrates Court.
Martyn Marshall of Osman Close, The Meadows was sentenced on 16 May in his absence, and was found guilty of begging in February 2016.
The 34-year-old has been begging since 2015 and was regularly seen approaching members of the public and asking for cash.
Councillor Jon Collins, city council leader said: “This is a good result for the Community Protection team, who applied to the Court for the CBO to protect members of the public from Marshall’s harassing behaviour.”
“Visitors to the city centre should be free to walk the streets and sit and enjoy their leisure time without being approached and harassed by individuals asking for cash.”
The council say they hope the CBO will deter Marshall from further begging.
If you think you can help The Granby Kitchen feed more vulnerable people, visit the cafe or contact Wendy on 07577898222.