Banner Image:   Baptist-Times-banner-2000x370-
Template Mode:   Baptist Times
    Post     Tweet

Next steps for Next Meal 

A creative initiative that uses technology to connect homeless people with food and shelter is seeking to expand beyond London

Next Meal
How do you respond when you encounter someone who is homeless? Give some money? Buy a hot drink or some food? Walk on by?

Since October Londoners have had another option, thanks to some Baptist creativity and persistence – and the technology behind it could soon be used in other towns and cities.

Next Meal is a website which creates a database of London’s soup kitchens and harnesses GPS to direct homeless people to their nearest hot meal.

It’s the brainchild of Martin Stone, who leads the Muswell Hill Soup Kitchen at Muswell Hill Baptist Church.

Alongside the website he has created small cards for people to give to those who are begging for money. The cards state the Next Meal website address, which people can then access on their phones (which many homeless people have) or through a library.

Next Meal card

‘It’s a simple thing,’ Martin explains. ‘We are saying to the homeless person, "We are sorry you are homeless, but here’s something that will help you – information about where you can get meals throughout the week."

‘As Christians we can’t walk on by. This is a way of being compassionate without giving away money that you can’t trust where it goes.

‘So we say to people – don’t give money – give them a Next Meal card. It is more valuable than money.’

Next Meal came about when Martin wondered one day whether the same technology that told you when the next bus would arrive could “answer the question where is the next meal coming from?”

He pitched the idea to a city tech expert, who worked on the website in his free time.

Next Meal launched last autumn and has already started to make an impact, being embraced by homeless people and Londoners alike who want to help those in need.

Now Martin and his team want to take the Next Meal to the next level. Details are being gathered so it can be available in towns and cities across the country.
Martin says his team wants to cast the net wider to other cities, spread the word further and explore new ways to exploit technology.

‘Our primary aim is to help people who are homeless or in acutely difficult circumstances,’ he said.

‘Many homeless people have phones, so Next Meal helps them directly.

‘It also empowers people to respond to street homelessness by locating the nearest food and support.

‘People want to know how to respond. Ultimately we are trying to reduce street homelessness and change the culture.’

To order a pack of Next Meal cards, or for more information, contact Martin on: martin.stone@nextmeal.co.uk
Visit Next Meal: nextmeal.co.uk 
Find out more on the Next Meal Facebook page



Baptist Times, 06/03/2018
    Post     Tweet
Examples of how Home Mission funds are being used in the London Baptist Association
The Revd Stephen Maclean of Cricklewood Baptist Church on how this has worked in his North London church
smallchurches, coronastory, smchstory
Sue Wetherall reflects on how God has spoken to Emmanuel Church at Ham Christian Centre and how He is starting to bring new life into being
Kim Bames from Waltham Abbey Baptist Church shares advice for churches thinking about returning to their buildings
coronastory, smallchurches, smchstory
Now is the perfect time to ask the question ‘Am I linked to the church where God wants me to serve?’ says Sandra Kimber of Hampton Wick Baptist Church
smchstory, coronastory
With a more elderly congregation, we could not connect using technology, but kept the church connecting in other ways, explains Gerry Stanton, minister Union Church and Community Centre
smallchurches, coronastory, smchstory
Reflections on racial justice and young people, with Amie Buhari, founder and chief executive of the Hebe Foundation
youngadult, listen, coronastory
     Regional News 
    Posted: 22/09/2020
    Posted: 22/09/2020
    Posted: 22/09/2020
    Posted: 03/01/2020
    Posted: 27/11/2019
    Posted: 18/10/2018
    Posted: 25/05/2018
    Posted: 31/01/2017
    Posted: 16/11/2016
    Posted: 05/10/2016
    Posted: 17/06/2016