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Perth café raising £10k to provide over 1,000 free Christmas dinners for those in need

Front of house staff Keith Meadows, Maya Stewart and volunteer George Logan at Giraffe in Perth.

Perth-based café and social enterprise Giraffe is raising £10k to deliver Christmas dinner for up to 1,300 people in the local area.

Situated on the city’s South Street, Giraffe aims to build on the success of last year’s Great Perthshire Compassionate Christmas campaign by feeding even more families in need.

Last year, they raised more than £12K and delivered in the region of 580 three-course Christmas dinners, as well as parcels containing festive produce and treats.

This year they estimate reaching between 1,200 and 1,300 people.

To date, 45 donations have been made with £4,639 raised through their TotalGiving fundraising page so far.

L to R: Staff Keith Meadows, Steven Pearson, Scott Tudor-Clark and Maya Stewart outside the cafe.

Giraffe chief executive Gareth Ruddock said their aim is to spread some cheer and reach out to the local community.

He explained: “We use food as a connector – it just tastes better if someone has made it for you.

“We’re doing a bit of a fundraising drive and money has been trickling in. We’re looking to encourage more donations and also make people aware of what’s going on.”

Giraffe Cafe Christmas meals for the community

Established in 2009, Giraffe works with people who face barriers such as learning disabilities, autism and mental health issues, by providing training and personal development.

The café and commercial kitchens provide a place where people can gain new skills.

It serves bistro-style food using locally-sourced ingredients and is open from 9am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday.

HELP US GIVE 100'S OF LOCAL FAMILES A GREAT CHRISTMAS!Since April 2020, Giraffe has provided more than 35000 free meals…

Posted by Giraffe Perth on Thursday, 11 November 2021

When forced to close during lockdown, the team turned its attention to providing meals for people in the community. This helped to tackle food poverty as well as food waste.

Since reopening the café, they have continued to distribute free meals as well creating a range of “finish at home” meals for sale.

In just over a year, Giraffe has provided more than 35,000 free meals to people in Perthshire.

What’s on the menu?

This Christmas, recipients will receive a parcel containing a three-course Christmas dinner prepared by the team at Giraffe. There will also be a selection of Perthshire’s finest food and drink products and some tasty festive treats.

Giraffe Cafe in Perth will be providing a three-course Christmas meal to those in need.

Gareth explained: “Our head chef Steven Pearson is just amazing. He’s extremely organised. Rather than big turkey crowns he’s doing turkey paupiettes which are smaller pieces stuffed with your usual stuffing.

“The kitchens at Perth Concert Hall are rarely being used at the moment so we asked if we could use them for a few days in the run-up to Christmas as that will give us the capacity.”

The parcels will be distributed with the help of a network of local charities such as Letham4All, Perth Foodbank, TullochNet and Caledonia Housing.

He added: “For us, it’s just knowing that we’re helping folk and the fact that it’s our trainees that are involved in every step of the process. People will recognise that it’s come from Giraffe.”

The team at Giraffe are also working on plans to open a production kitchen in a local business park next year.

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