By, Jamie Glover.
UNITY grill restaurant, which is set to open January 2018 are providing a free Christmas meal for the hungry or lonely in Ayr.
The restaurant is still firmly in construction, but founder Angela McNay is confident it will be open in time:
“We will be ready for a Christmas meal. We’re putting on a free Christmas dinner for 50 people”
Unity Grill is a new concept in Ayrshire. It is social restaurant in which profits are used to challenge food poverty. East, west and south Ayrshire all place in the top 20 most deprived council areas in Scotland (BBC 2016) and is a much needed concept.
The UWS graduate and former food bank volunteer came up with the idea whilst researching food poverty:
“All the research that I did was on food poverty. I couldn’t understand how people in this country in 2017 were going to bed hungry at night“.
Angela also talked about how missing out on food based social occasions can isolate the populace:
“For me what was really apparent was how socially isolating food poverty was for people. We live in a culture that revolves around food. And if you live in food poverty it’s just something else you’re excluded from. So I wanted to create a space were everybody was welcome regardless of their ability to pay”.
The Ayr resident was brimming with pride at the local reaction to the restaurant:
“The response so far has been incredible. Already in the community, this is part of the community”.
Despite already breaking the Crowdfunder target, many people continue to contribute in order to help the concept succeed. Much of the construction and design team have worked for free to give Unity Grill the best start possible. The restaurant also got hands on with a series of workshops teaching people how to lay flooring. The flooring in the restaurant itself was laid this way, making it a true part of the community from it’s inception.
In the ever-present profit driven commercialisation of Christmas the Unity grill stands out as a bastion for Christmas spirit. A rare concept that puts people before profits, which can hopefully become a catalyst for more social change.