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Mum opens soup kitchen
A MUM-of-three is turning tragic news into positive action with a new soup kitchen in Bournemouth.
Kind-hearted Claire Matthews, 40, and her 16-year-old daughter Jessica were motivated to help after realising friends were unable to feed their children and heat their homes at the same time.
The death of 42-year-old Karl Lambe in the doorway of Richmond Hill St Andrew’s in Bournemouth earlier this month spurred the pair on and the church has now offered to assist.
Claire, of Bournemouth, said: “We found out that people we know are having to make the choice between heating and eating, so we decided to set up Hope for Food on Facebook.
“Within about 24 hours, we had more than 100 people, so there’s real demand out there.”
With no help from the council, Claire and Jessica encouraged friends and family to donate food, clothes and time towards the initiative.
They have had so much support that a food bank and soup kitchen will open twice a week at Richmond Hill St Andrew’s for the needy for the next three months.
Claire said: “We need as much support as we can get.
“Everything we get has been donated and volunteers will be running it. We need everything.
“One of my friends told me she could see her kids’ breath when they were in their house. I told her, ‘Turn the heating up,’ and she said, ‘I can’t afford it.’ “It really is ridiculous that she has to choose between keeping her kids warm and feeding them.
“Another friend was taking her kids’ toys so she could wrap them back up for Christmas presents. It’s awful.”
Claire needs £5,000 to register as a charity but already has £300, raised by a friend who sells items on eBay for Hope for Food.
“The more the word gets around, the more people we can help,” she said.
“We’d love to be able to do this seven days a week, but we’re off to a great start.”
The kitchen and food bank will be open by the south door of the church on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6.30pm until 8.30pm.