A local wholefood cafe shop has revamped its suspended soup scheme to help anyone struggling financially in Salford.
The Deli Lama, on Chapel Street, is using a pay ahead scheme in which customers can purchase an item from the cafe and leave the receipt for someone who can’t afford it to pick up.
The cafe, which is now running a takeaway service during the national lockdown, is offering the scheme to anyone in the community who needs extra support in this uncertain financial climate.
People have been so generous in their support of our pay ahead scheme 😍 so if you know someone who’d love a coffee, a chat and something to eat, please let them know x pic.twitter.com/Ery0ivVRwN
— Deli Lama Wholefood Shop and Cafe (@DeliLamaCafeBar) November 20, 2020
Linda Robson, who runs the cafe along with her partner Lincoln Stewart, stated: “If you feel excluded from places like ours because you can’t afford a coffee or something to eat, it seems a bit nicer to have that welcome and help people along.
“You don’t have to have no money what so ever. You don’t have to be completely down and out; it’s just to help people along a bit and allow them to grab a soup.”
The scheme began in 2012 when the cafe initially opened. Linda had previously worked in community development and had heard about a suspended coffee scheme to help those receiving suspended payments.
The scheme has recently been revamped as Linda explains: “I realized that more people perceive it as more for the homeless and I wanted to make people realized that a lot of people have gone through a hard time financially with the covid situation, and wanted to make sure people were aware it was available to anybody who is struggling financially at the minute.”
Chris Leakey, a regular at the cafe who owns a bike shop a few doors down, Bambino Biking and Manchester Bike Hire, said: “They’ve got a really good pay it forward system.
When I can, I come in and buy an extra soup and stick it on the board, so if someone is in a situation where they can’t afford one that day or they are just short of money, you can take a receipt of the board and you’ve got a meal for the day.
“I enjoy doing that and it makes me feel good that I can share my good fortune at this time with people that aren’t perhaps in the same space.
“As a small business owner, I like to support other small businesses because I think the more we support each other, the better it is for our local economy and well-being generally.”
This sense of helping your local community has grown during the coronavirus pandemic and the second national lockdown.
Graham Whitham, from Greater Manchester Poverty Action, explained that there is now more sympathy towards people struggling financially:
“I think there has been a huge amount of community support and people supporting each other in their neighborhoods which is fantastic to see, but it won’t solve poverty, we need the government to step in and support people on low incomes across the country.
“What we’ve seen in Salford, along with the other Greater Manchester boroughs is a big increase in people claiming benefits and universal credit benefits. I think it’s doubled.”
Linda from the Deli Lama said she was glad the government extended the furlough scheme during this lockdown, however, is concerned about how the cafe will be able to stay open if the country goes into another lockdown in the future.
“Initially you think it’s just the first lockdown and we are starting to realize now that going forward there is a potential for lots more situations and future lockdowns. I don’t know how we would cope if we had to lockdown again, I think would just go under.”
The cafe is determined to help anyone in the community who needs extra support and is looking forward to putting up Christmas decorations for the festive period.