Tony George, who works as a commis chef at Potters Resort, is the definition of someone who works tirelessly to help others and volunteers his time.
The full-time working dad of five feeds the homeless and vulnerable four days a week and is working on providing a hub for them to get a hot meal and a shower. We caught up with Tony for a chat to find out more about what he is doing…
Tony, can you tell us about ‘Feed the World’?
My brother-in-laws dad started it off after he slept on the streets for charity. Him, my brother-in-law and I started it off about a year ago, and every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday we take the homeless a hot meal and provide them with essential items they need. We feed over 20 people every time we go out in Lowestoft and we drive around the main town with hot food for them. We go out twice on a Sunday so we can provide them with a Sunday roast. It is growing as more people are spreading the word to others.
We pay for this ourselves and have some donations given to us of food that is about to go out of date from the One Stop Stores and Birds Eye. Potters Resort kindly gives us its lost property clothes too. Apart from that, we pay for it ourselves, use our own car and petrol, cook the food in our own houses with our own equipment, it is our own time and we will pay ourselves for other essential items they need like toiletries and baby wipes so they can just wash themselves. They often like someone to talk to too.
And we hear you are setting up a room in Waveney Community Care Farm?
Yes, we have a room at the back but we need to set it all up. It is a place where we hope we can provide the homeless and vulnerable with a shower, some food and a safe place and some company. We need to get it all ready, but there is a lot of work to do.
Why do you do it?
It is just giving them basic things they need and a hot meal, and we see how that simple thing makes them happy. It is a mixture of ages and men and women, and the youngest one we are currently helping is only 16. I am a dad of five, with a one-year-old the youngest, and I have taken my nine and 11-year-old out to show them what they have got.
How can other people help you?
Donations are welcome so we can provide hot food, like tinned food, water bottles, foil takeaway containers and plastic cutlery, and also essential items like toiletries and baby wipes, and clothes and tents for shelter. We could also do with another cool box, which we set on hot so it keeps the meals warm while we are out. We would also love to have some pots and pans for the new kitchen too.