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Chips for chips scheme provides free meals for Hull's homeless

A Hull fish and chip shop is giving away up to 15 free meals a day to local homeless people after launching a ‘chips for chips’ scheme.

Goldenfry in Savile Street initially had 50 golden “chips” 3D printed for customers to buy for £2, securing a meal and a hot drink for somebody in need. But the initiative has proved so successful that the shop has since had a further 500 chips produced.

Customers can either hand the tokens directly to a homeless person or leave them on the counter. The chippy operates a traffic light system in the window which when green indicates there are tokens available at the till.

John Rennison, who has run the restaurant and takeaway with his wife Michelle for the last three years, said: “Where we are situated in the city centre we get to see a lot of homeless people sat congregating on the benches. During these colder months, we've seen the numbers get bigger and bigger. I’ve always gone and given out leftover food at the end of the evening but I wanted to do more. A friend suggested a pay it forward scheme and I’d seen something similar at a chip shop in Bristol so thought let’s do it.”

It’s taken the chippy almost a year to get the scheme into the public domain, but thanks to recent coverage online John says it’s now proving very popular.

“We are doing anywhere between 5 and 15 meals a day now. I’ve got a poster up in the shop telling customers about the scheme so some will read that and buy a token, but then we also have our regular customers that buy five tokens a week.

“The astonishing thing now is I’m opening letters up and people are sending me money to buy chips who live in Cumbria, Kent and Sussex.”

John hopes to make the scheme a permanent feature and is looking into possible funding to do more. He comments: “I’ve had enquiries from different organisations that are trying to organise funding for me so I’m hoping it will progress into something bigger and we can supply sleeping bags or starter packs for when these people do finally get housing.”

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