Eat Smart this winter

by Jess Carter

09 October 2018

Eating at your favourite restaurants can help those in need over the harshest season...

Want to know how you can do a good deed this season to help out those who will really feel the effects of winter? Be smart, and look out for the Street Smart logo in local restaurants. 

Let us explain…

Street Smart is an annual campaign that’s been going for 20 years, and works to raise vital cash to support the homeless and vulnerable over some of the coldest months of the year. During November and December, a voluntary £1 donation is added to food bills at participating restaurants, with the organisation then distributing the money raised among local charities such as St Mungo’s and One 25. The money arrives just in time for the harsh months of January and February, when temperatures are at their lowest, snow is inevitable and vulnerable city residents face real uncertainty. 

Popular pizza joint Flour and Ash is one restaurant that is getting in on the Street Smart action again for 2018 to raise some proper dough (ahem) for the cause. Owner Steve Gale tells us how this year, above any, is an important one to support this vital campaign. 

“After the heatwave we have all enjoyed this summer, I'm acutely aware of the changing seasons, the days shortening and the nights cooling,” he says. “Given the record snowfall last year, I can only begin to imagine how daunting it must be to face a winter homeless. Street Smart is a fabulous charity that supports local homeless projects who are best placed to offer personal and effective care to those most vulnerable.”

Steve notes too how all of the money raised goes straight to where it's needed: “It is fully supported by Deutsche Bank who pay 100 percent of Street Smart's admin costs, so every penny you donate on your restaurant bill goes direct to good causes."

Street Smart has gained considerable traction over the last few years, with more and more restaurants across the country choosing to sign up. The scheme's popularity isn’t solely to do with the fact that the entirety of every donation goes where it's needed, or that it's used in the local community where it was given – it's partly thanks to the fact that it’s so darn simple to get involved. Electronic tills record the £1 donation on each bill, so admin really is minimal; restaurants just collect the total amount at the end of each month or at the end of December and pass it to Street Smart. Bosh.

Not far from Flour and Ash on Gloucester Road is The Gallimaufry – one of the longest standing supporters of Street Smart. Co-owner James Koch is on board again this year, and explains how Bristol is badly in need of funds for this cause right now: "At a time when there's never been so many homeless on the streets of Bristol this is a small contribution to help those facing this unimaginable hardship and hunger." 

Other top restaurants already signed up include Bristol favourites Bomboloni, Wilsons and Root

Bristol raised £15,000 last year – but we know we can do better for 2018! If you’re a punter, all you need to do is eat at the participating restaurants throughout November and December: the donation will automatically appear on your bill. (Keep an eye on the website for full, up-to-date lists of who’s involved.) If you have a restaurant and would like to get involved (and why wouldn’t you?), you can sign up here

Charities that help the homeless can apply for a share of the funds raised, by sending an application before 31 Dec; just  be sure to include information about the project, who it helps and where it would like a grant of £5,000 to go towards. 

So whether you’re a hungry restaurant goer, busy business owner or proactive charity worker, you can help the homeless this winter. Get involved.