Global Citizen is a community of people like you

People who want to learn about and take action on the world’s biggest challenges. Extreme poverty ends with you.

Food & Hunger

Stephen Hawking’s Final Gift Was to Help Feed the Hungry Over Easter in Cambridge

When Stephen Hawking died on March 14, he left behind a world he had fundamentally changed.

The world-famous physicist redefined how we thought about space and time — and inspired a generation through his unshakeable spirit, marked by a lifelong battle with a rare form of rare motor neurone disease.

Hawking has already given the world so much — but this weekend his kind influence still persisted.

Take Action: Break the Cycle of Malnutrition: Call on Leaders to Ensure Every Girl Grows Up Healthy

On March 31, the day of Hawking’s funeral, his family made a donation as a “gift from Stephen” to a local charity hosting a lunch for vulnerable members of the community.

The donation allowed FoodCycle, a nonprofit based in Cambridge that provides meals to the hungry or lonely with surplus food, to provide treats to 50 guests in a room decorated especially for Easter.

There are 37 FoodCycle projects across the UK, serving 1,000 meals every week using food otherwise destined for the bin. Since 2009 the charity has cooked over 230,000 meals using 265 tonnes of reclaimed surplus food — all prepared by volunteers.

Read More: 11 Inspirational Stephen Hawking Quotes That Will Fill You With Wonder

Anybody can come along to their events, even if it’s just for a friendly chat. Unlike food banks, there is no voucher system, according to HuffPost, and nobody needs to prove that they’re in need.

Food banks were used over 1 million times in the UK last year — and in a recent study by the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute, four out of five households with children that have used them were classed as “severely food insecure.”

In Cambridge, meals have been provided every Saturday at Wesley Methodist Church for the last eight years — and before tucking into the food on Easter weekend, provided by their usual suppliers, the room gave Hawking a small cheer. Meanwhile, thousands gathered outside Great St Mary's church to pay tribute to the scientist.

Read More: Stephen Hawking Says Earth Will Become ‘Sizzling Ball of Fire’ in 600 Years

"They wanted to do something to support people going through a tough time," FoodCycle’s Alex Collis told the BBC. "It was a really lovely gesture.... and very kind of them to think of FoodCycle."

You can volunteer with FoodCycle here.

Global Citizen campaigns to achieve the UN’s Global Goals, including Goal No.2 to end world hunger. You can join us by taking action here. On April 17 Global Citizen Live will come to London —  bringing Emeli Sandé, Professor Green, and more big stars to O2 Academy Brixton in our fight to end extreme poverty. You can earn free tickets by taking action here.