Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Social Bite smashes homeless Christmas meals target

Josh Littlejohn Image copyright John Littlejohn
Image caption Josh Littlejohn (L) and Alice Thompson (second L) said they had been amazed by people's generosity

A sandwich shop owner has been "blown away" by people's generosity after thousands bought Christmas meals for the homeless.

Josh Littlejohn, co-founder of Social Bite, hoped to raise enough to pay for 800 meals.

But they have massively surpassed their target, raising enough for 35,000 plates of turkey.

The chain teamed up with the Itison.com deal site and asked people to make a £5 donation.

Within around 10 hours of the promotion going online they had sold 7,000 vouchers.

The chain said that the level of donations meant they will be able to feed homeless people all next year at their Edinburgh and Glasgow shops.

Social Bite gives 100% of its profits to charity and recruits people from homeless backgrounds.

'Christmas spirit'

They have premises in Edinburgh and Glasgow and are planning to open in Aberdeen and Dundee next year.

Mr Littlejohn, 28, said the reaction on Twitter and Facebook had been "amazing" with donations coming from as far afield as Romania, Nepal and Pennsylvania.

He said: "Nicola Sturgeon bought one. Michelle Mone put a thing on her Twitter about how she bought one and then someone said 'I'll buy a hundred Christmas dinners if I can take you out for dinner', and she said 'If you buy 200 it's a deal.'

"Two other guys chipped in and said 'I'll buy 200 to take you out', so I think she's got three dinner dates but she helped us sell 600 dinners.

"It just shows Christmas spirit is alive and well."

Social Bite was founded two years ago by Josh and his girlfriend Alice Thompson, 24.

They were inspired by a visit to Bangladesh, where they met Nobel Peace Prize winner and microcredit pioneer Prof Muhammad Yunus.

The cafes will be open on Christmas Eve in Glasgow and on Christmas Day in Edinburgh to give a Christmas meal to every homeless person that comes in.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites