Lower Clapton vegan cafe Black Cat will break out the ladles for their first charity soup kitchen, on Friday 22 December.
The worker-run eatery say that “nobody will be refused” their three-course, fully vegan offering for lack of funds – although for those who’ve got spare Christmas cash, donations will be passed along to support the local branch of Food Not Bombs.
This money will be used in turn to locate surplus vegan and vegetarian food to distribute on the streets (the Food Not Bombs logo depicts a fist triumphantly raising a carrot).
“Basically we are doing this because we believe we are not only another cafe and we want to make a difference,” a Black Cat spokesperson told the Citizen, “this is the essence of what we are.
“We have done fundraisers and benefits this year for animal rights groups and social justice groups. For this event we are following the example of groups like Food Not Bombs, with whom we have worked in the past, and we are using food which otherwise would have gone to waste to feed people who can’t afford to pay for a hot meal in this festive season.
The community and businesses local to Black Cat on Clarence Road have donated food for the big first night – E5 Bakehouse and Growing Communities for bread and salad as well as nutritious contributions from Ted’s Veg and Clean Bean Tofu.
Black Cat outlined the likely menu: “We are planning to make a hearty soup with sourdough toast and salads for starters. For main we want to do a proper vegan roast with all the trimmings and a nice gravy. For dessert, a sponge cake with cream and fruit.”
Despite a string of break-ins around this time last year, the workers collective behind the cafe are clearly still feeling the goodwill of the season, at a time where street-based meal distribution for those in need is seemingly in an upswing.
Black Cat Cafe is at 76A Clarence Road, E5 8HB. Visit their Facebook page to get updates on the soup kitchen, which is scheduled for 5pm on Friday 22 December