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Homeless to benefit from new Stratford coffee shop

Ann and Ivo at Stratford's new Pret.
Ann and Ivo at Stratford's new Pret.

THE LOCAL homeless population will benefit from the opening of Pret A Manger in Stratford this week.

The sandwich shop, which opened on Henley Street on Thursday as part of the new-look Bard’s Walk, plans to give away unsold food at the end of each day to homeless charities.

Stratford Link, a local organisation helping the homeless, will pick up the unsold leftover food at close of business each day.

Ann Johnson, with Stratford Link, said: “Because we’re a charitable organisation we haven’t got much funding so anything given away free is a bonus.”

The donations through Pret will provide Link with a larger variety of breakfast food options to the people they help. She said they have 25 regular users of the Link program, who’re either homeless or socially isolated.

She also said: “It encourages engagement. We’re giving them breakfast, so they can’t help but engage in how we can help them.”

Pret General Manager Ivo Silva said they’ll always have a certain selection of food leftover at close of business ranging from sandwiches and salads to pastries. Over the past year, Pret’s national scheme has distributed over three million food items to hostels and shelters across the UK.

Mr Silva said, “It’s a brilliant idea. If we don’t give it away it’s just going to go in the bin, and there’s no reason for that.”

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