Dundee bar pays it forward
DUNDEE bar 3 Session Street is set to launch a new initiative to provide free meals for the city’s homeless community.
As part of the late-night bar’s Tay It Forward social responsibility programme, which launched in January, the venue will supply meals to the homeless community between 12noon and 3pm every second Wednesday, kicking off on February 12.
To fund the initiative at the bar, which is usually closed on Wednesdays, operators Dan Caddell and Chris Symonds introduced a Tay It Forward lunch menu to the public on January 6. An allocation of money from the sales will go towards the purchase of food and hot beverages for the homeless community each fortnight, as well as donations from customers and local suppliers.
Speaking to SLTN, Caddell said the Tay It Forward concept stemmed from the Pay it Forward movement in Italy where customers in coffee shops can pay for coffee in advance for people.
He said: “In Italy, homeless people are able to visit coffee shops and ask if anything has been paid forward so that they can get a coffee or a bowl of soup.
“Most venues trade on a Wednesday so we’re fortunate to be in the situation that we can launch Tay It Forward because we have that day off.
“There is the potential to develop a concept like that for venues which are open every day – customers can volunteer to pay a bit extra and venues can provide a hot meal or drink in return.”
The business partners first turned their attention to charity work when they teamed up with the social enterprise Social Bite in December and raised money to provide Christmas dinners for the homeless.
Caddell said: “Dundee is a great city and we love living and working here but there are still, unfortunately, problems that need dealing with and homelessness is a big one of those.
“Following on from the success of our work with Social Bite in December, we started to think about what we could do to help with the issue and looked to launch something of our own within the Dundee community.
“Social media is our main route of advertising and it’s great for the general public’s awareness but it’s not the way to communicate with the homeless community themselves, so we’re branching out to spread the world through as many avenues as possible.
“I think Tay It Forward is following on from the trends in the industry. There has been a big shift in the last couple of years thinking about more environmentally sustainable practices which is great and I think the social responsibility that we have as bartenders is a step on from that.”