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Food & Hunger

Franco Manca Is Giving Free Pizza to Homeless Shelters and Food Banks

As the “Beast from the East” strengthens its icy grip on the UK, freezing temperatures and snow fall seems never-ending. 

While for many of us, it’s just a case of cranking up the heating and trying not to leave the house, for those sleeping rough on Britain’s streets these weather conditions are potentially life-threatening. 

That’s why pizzeria Franco Manca is giving away free pizza to homeless shelters and food banks, in an attempt to ensure those going hungry and cold can have a hot meal.

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The chain is running the scheme across all of its 41 restaurants across the UK, and charitable organisations can set up pizza collections for free — with a limit of 100 pizzas a day per outlet. 

“We are preparing for the coldest week in five years and our teams want to do their best to help those with less warmth and shelter,” the pizza chain wrote on Twitter. 

“Please tweet us if you know anyone who could do with some warming pizza on us during the week,” it added. Organisations can also get in touch at askus@francomanca.co.uk.

Read more: How to Help If You See Someone Sleeping Rough This Winter

Gareth Coleman, a social work masters student on placement working with homeless men in Bristol, wrote on Facebook: “As a result of the loving, wonderful, and generous people at Franco Manca, every person at Stonebridge Park [a homeless hostel] will have pizza for dinner this afternoon.”

“You are an example for all businesses to follow, let’s hope the rest follow suit and support a community in need during these harsh weather conditions,” he added.

Some 300,000 people are currently classified as homeless in the UK — one in every 200 people, according to figures released by homelessness charity Shelter in November. 

Read more: It's Even Colder in the UK Than the Arctic — and Yes, Those Two Things Are Connected

Government figures released in January showed the number of people sleeping rough on England’s streets rose in 2017 for the seventh consecutive year — reaching the highest it’s been since records began. 

The figures showed that 4,751 people slept rough in 2017 — a 15% rise on 2016 — and campaigners are concerned that those figures still don’t capture the true magnitude of the problem. 

“These figures expose the worst pain inflicted by our housing crisis,” said Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, at the time. 

Read more: Number of Rough Sleepers in England Rises Again for 7th Year Running

“We have failed as a society when so many people are forced to sleep rough,” she added.

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