Cafe’s unsold food gives homeless hope for future

Jez Timms Torpedo Juice

A popular venue in Tonbridge has joined up with a community scheme supporting young homeless people in the town by offering them unsold food supplies.

Finch House Cafe and Bakery in the High Street has linked up with Kent charity Porchlight to offer its users a range of sandwiches, pastries and other dishes which would otherwise have gone to waste. The company, which set up in Tonbridge four years ago, is also advertising for apprentices, which could be open to applicants using Porch-light’s services.

Daron Goldfinch, managing director of Finch House, said: “We make a lot of our products fresh on site and realised we had some gourmet food stock left at the end of the day which would just go in the bin.

“We wanted to do something about it and after a few months of looking for a worthwhile cause we found Porchlight, which is a brilliant charity that has a hostel for young people in the Tonbridge area.

“We’ve been working with them for the past few weeks, with people from the charity making regular collections,” explained the director, who hopes its apprenticeship campaign could potentially offer further help through job prospects.

Since launching in Tonbridge, the company has opened a second cafe in Orpington.

It has also been named for the third year running as a finalist in the countywide KEIBA business awards.

Mr Goldfinch added: “The scheme we have set up is helping young college-age people who are clients of Porchlight. In having some extra sand-wiches or pastries, it means they are able to save what limited budgets they have towards other things like attending job interviews and it seems to be working well for them so far.”

Porchlight staff member Zara Hamid agreed the initiative had been of real benefit.

She said: “We’re really grateful to Finch House. The company’s generosity allows us to put on a spread and invite the people staying with us to come together for a chat and a bite to eat. Some-times we work with people who feel isolated and things like this help them to engage.

“It’s also great to hear Finch House is looking into apprenticeships and work experience oppor-tunities. At Porchlight, we believe employment is the best route out of poverty and homelessness.”

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