Huddersfield Street Kitchen started when a kind-hearted couple made too much food and decided to go down to Huddersfield and give the rest to a homeless bloke they’d got to know.
That was five years ago and the kitchen now runs twice a week in the town centre, regularly feeding more than 100 people who have trouble affording a meal.
The couple who started it off, Danny Burrows and his partner, Emma Duval, are still very much at the helm and have been ever since they started it back in November 2018.
Lots of volunteers now help and bring food they’ve cooked down to each session ranging from bacon and egg sandwiches to curries, chillies, halal, vegetarian, macaroni cheese, tuna pasta and … pies.
Danny, 40, said: “It all began when we made a big stew and we’d met a homeless guy in Huddersfield called Steve so took him some down. Fortunately he’s now off the streets and living in a supported flat but we quickly saw there was a need and so it all snowballed from there.
“We are now helping people from children as young as 18 months up to an 87-year-old lady. There are too many people in this town who have no food. We average about 80 each time we open but it can go as high as 120.”
The equipment to set up the kitchen was donated by Dave Hedley who founded an organisation called Homeless Leeds Support Street Kitchens.
Danny, who was homeless for a few months when he was 20, said: “It’s like we’re all family now with those who need the kitchen. If the regulars don’t turn up then we worry about them. I just can’t believe how big it’s grown.
“We are not a charity. We are just a group of people who want to help and this shows what can be achieved by giving that most precious thing of all … time.”
The kitchen isn’t just for homeless people, it’s for anyone who needs a meal and is struggling to afford one.
People also drop in clothes, pushchairs, baby food – anything families in poverty may need which is then passed on, including furniture for a woman who was fleeing domestic violence. At the moment the volunteers really need people to donate more shoes and other footwear.
Danny and his team also give advice on where people can go for more specialist help from benefits to mental health support.
Danny, who lives in Rastrick, works full time in his building and landscape company DB and Sons and also plays rugby with Huddersfield Laund Hill rugby union.
His eight children Katie, Hannah, Jessica, Naill, James, Elli, DJ and Leelan have also helped out with the street kitchen.
The kitchen has run every Sunday from 1pm to 2.30pm at the Huddersfield Open Market site next to Tesco since 2018 and just five weeks ago also started to open each Thursday evening from 6.30pm to 7.30pm with support from a group called Yorkshire Sikh Saviours.
Those who provide the main hot dishes have had their kitchens checked by Kirklees Council to make sure they meet hygiene standards.
Food for the project is now donated by supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s, the Co-op, Aldi and Lidl with meat donated by Metcalfe Butchers who have a pitch in the open market.
Huddersfield Street Kitchen has a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/515037015632792
Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR (https://ah-pr.com/) specialising in press releases, blogging, website content and copywriting.