Philanthropy | For Goodness’ Sake

How dining out can help the homeless

A food festival boosts a homeless charity’s income

How dining out can help the homeless

September 29 2010
Lindsay Macpherson

The adage “little and often” as it pertains to food consumption is unlikely to hold much currency for gastronomes at the forthcoming London Restaurant Festival (October 4-18); but for Streetsmart, the event’s designated charity, this funding model has proved a resounding success. The non-profit raises money for the homeless via voluntary £1 donations added onto diners’ bills in more than 600 restaurants nationwide in November and December each year. This time, £5 from the registration fee of each restaurant participating in the festival – such as The Cinnamon Club (pictured) and Village East – will go to it.

Since the scheme’s inception in 1998, Streetsmart has raised and distributed more than £4.2m to homeless charities, hostels and initiatives – and charities received 100 per cent of donations, as Streetsmart’s sponsor Deutsche Bank covers all administration costs. From next month, the bank will extend the same pledge to Sleepsmart, a sister campaign partnering with boutique hotels, which begins piloting in London on November 1.