Support grows ahead of soup kitchen's High Court date (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Christian Kitchen was served with an eviction notice last year
Support for a soup kitchen that has offered hot meals to the needy every night for 20 years is growing ahead of the volunteer-led service’s final High Court appeal next week.
Christian Kitchen feeds around 50 people every night from a van parked in Mission Grove, Walthamstow, but it was served an eviction notice by the council and police last year.
An online petition, launched yesterday, has already gathered over 500 signatures including that of London Assembly member for Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest Jennette Arnold.
“Inequality and the resulting food poverty is rife in society, and the Kitchen is doing a fabulous job to help those so tragically affected by this inherent social imbalance across London,” she wrote.
The authority claims the service encourages anti-social behaviour but volunteers say the service is needed and if it is forced to move it could close altogether.
A High Court hearing next week will determine whether the eviction order can be challenged.
This week 19 religious leaders in the borough penned an open letter to council leader Chris Robbins urging him to let the service continue.
“Many religious communities support this work because it is clearly meeting a real need,” the letter said.
“Given that all the parties concerned are on the side of the needy and vulnerable in our society, we are surprised that a solution to this situation has not already been reached.
“We look to you to find an acceptable solution before the High Court hearing so that this valuable work can be continued.”
The council has offered the service a new location on Walthamstow Avenue but kitchen organisers say the location is unsafe because of its proximity to fast-moving traffic and that it is insufficiently visible to motorists.
Supporters are asked to meet at the main steps of the Royal Courts of Justice at 9.30am on Wednesday.
Sign the petition here.