Birmingham New Street’s Christmas Eve meal for the homeless is back for 2020, but it will be different this year.
For the third consecutive year, Network Rail is working with charity Midland Langar Seva Society to provide hot food for those struggling this Christmas.
Since 2018, a total of 550 people have had a three-course meal and a party on Birmingham New Street’s concourse.
However, this is not possible this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic, but the two organisations were still determined to have plans.
So this year, plans for 250 take-away meals and gifts have been revealed.
Patrick Power, Birmingham New Street station manager, said: “We know holding the Christmas Eve meal for those who need help in the city centre is a highlight for them so the station team and MLSS have pulled out the stops to make sure Covid doesn’t cancel Christmas this year.
“Because of social distancing we can’t hold the meal inside in the warm as we would like, so we’ve had to think about how to do things in a different way. We’re sure we’ll be back inside for Christmas 2021 even bigger and better than before.”
Food and gifts will be handed out on the Eastern Plaza between 5 pm and 7 pm on Thursday 24th December 2020.
A queuing system will be in place to make sure people keep a safe distance away.
This year’s Christmas Eve meal is sponsored by Quinn Infrastructure services.
Randhir Singh, Midland Langar Seva Society co-founder, said: “Our homeless Christmas meal has been special for our service users for over seven years, with a sit down three-course meal at the Birmingham New Street station for the last two – it has been a highlight for them. Every year they look forward to it and for many months they have been asking whether the party is still going ahead due to the pandemic.
“This year will be different due to the social distancing restrictions, however we will still make it special for them by spoiling them with presents, if they are lucky, they will get a chance to have a photo with Santa.”
Neil Shearwood, managing director from Quinn Infrastructure Services, said: “We are delighted to play our part in the ‘Christmas Eve Meal for the Homeless’ for a second year now. This year, more importantly, as so many charities have really felt the effect of covid-19 on contributions.
“We hope this can bring some Christmas cheer to those who need it most and support our client Network Rail in this fantastic effort.”
Please Note: All images used in this article are of the Christmas Eve Meal events in 2018 and 2019, none of them are of 2020s event.
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