Vans travel 5,000 miles to provide clothing to refugees in Europe
A convoy of Social Bite vans has come to the aid of tens of thousands of refugees living in desperate conditions across Europe with a delivery of donated food and warm clothing.
Volunteers from the not-for-profit sandwich shop chain drove 5,000 miles over 10 days through freezing temperatures to deliver vital winter aid packages to refugee camps in Calais, Serbia and the Greek island of Lesbos.
Bought with donations from the charity’s Christmas appeal, launched by Hollywood star George Clooney, each donation was matched by Glasgow clothing firm Trespass which contributed hats, scarves, gloves, rain jackets, sleeping bags and tents.
Social Bite co-founder Josh Littlejohn said: “These people living in refugee camps are just normal people living in extremely distressing circumstances. Seeing their suffering first hand, I felt immensely grateful for the huge amount of support Social Bite received during our campaign.
These people living in refugee camps are just normal people living in extremely distressing circumstances - Josh Littlejohn
“We want to thank everyone who generously helped us – whether that’s George Clooney who launched the campaign, Trespass which donated quality winter supplies or the members of the public who put their fiver into the pot to support our campaign.”
The Christmas appeal received over 73,000 donations over two and a half weeks in December with the public choosing to spend 25,000 of those on food parcels for Social Bite’s refugee aid run and the rest going towards feeding Scotland’s homeless.
George Clooney’s launch of the campaign trended worldwide before attracting a series of high-profile donations from first minister Nicola Sturgeon, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, Olympic legend Sir Chris Hoy and comedian Rob Brydon.
Donations made for Social Bite’s homeless Christmas dinner meant Social Bite was able to open between Christmas eve and Christmas day in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, to feed anyone who needed a hot meal.
The surplus donations will ensure that Social Bite can provide free hot meals and drinks to the homeless community in the three cities for the rest of the year.