itison and Social Bite launch £5 Christmas meal for Scotland’s homeless
As thousands of people face hardship this winter and the demands on charities to provide support increases, Scottish-based business, itison, launches the eighth year of its Social Bite campaign, asking big-hearted Scots to donate £5 via the itison website to buy over 100,000 meals and gifts for homeless people this Christmas.
The cost-of-living-crisis, as well as continued impact of the pandemic, has meant this year has been one of the toughest on record for families and individuals, and the £5 fundraiser aims to ensure that the most vulnerable in our society can enjoy a hot meal and a gift this festive season, and meals throughout the year.
Running since 2014, the annual Christmas appeal has raised an incredible £3 million and 700,000 donations to those who need it most, and last year, despite the hardship felt by many following the pandemic, over 100,000 donations were made, with an impressive 63% coming from new contributors across the country, showing just how selfless Scots can be.
In addition to the 100,000 meals and gifts supplied through Social Bite, along with itison they will also be donating the first £20,000 raised to Spirit of Christmas which gives Christmas presents to children living in poverty in around Glasgow, where the business is based.
Oli Norman, CEO at itison, said: “This year has been exceptionally tough and the most vulnerable in our society have been hit the hardest.
“More people than ever before are struggling, and Christmas for homeless people and families is an especially challenging time. Every year we are blown away by the generosity of our members, and this year, at a time when support is needed more than ever, our hope is to raise enough through our Social Bite campaign to feed homeless people for the entire year”.
Josh Littlejohn, co-founder of Social Bite, added: “Back in 2014 we started working with itison on our annual fundraiser, with a target of 800 Christmas dinners. We ended up receiving over 32,000 donations meaning we could feed homeless people coming to our cafes for the whole year.
“Our annual itison fundraiser continues to exceed our expectations every year and has dramatically shaped the work we can do at Social Bite.
“We couldn’t do it without you and would love you to join us in sharing kindness this Christmas, please share it with all your friends and help the people who need it the very most this year.”
In Scotland, Social Bite’s Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Aberdeen cafes will open their doors to the homeless on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at 1100 - 1600 to serve Christmas dinners with all the trimmings, offering food and company at what is one of the loneliest times of the year for many.
As well as providing food to those in need and providing gifts, itison members’ donations have previously helped fund the Social Bite Village in Edinburgh, providing housing, support, and a huge range of services to break the cycle of homelessness. Social Bite is currently working hard and fundraising to build two brand-new villages in two new Scottish cities, their ongoing aim is to continue supporting people experiencing homelessness into employment, and 1 in 4 of its team has a background of homelessness. Your donation is not only providing a meal or gift but also helping Social Bite to break the cycle of homelessness through systemic change.
To donate £5 to buy a Christmas dinner for a homeless person or give a Christmas gift for children, families and vulnerable individuals visit www.itison.com/donate (it makes a great Secret Santa gift or stocking filler too!)