Activism

Viral Glasgow food queue photo inspires Bowie charity single

Kindness Homeless Street Team hit the headlines when they fed more than 200 people in the snow. A new single from radio DJ George Bowie is raising funds as the group warn even more are seeking help

Glasgow soup kitchen queue

Kindness Homeless Street Team say more than 200 people queued up in sub-zero temperatures for food. Credit: Kindness Homeless Street Team

A shocking viral photo of hundreds of people queuing for food in the snow is now on the front of a charity single to help beat back the rising demand of food poverty in Scotland.  

The Big Issue broke the story of how the Kindness Homeless Street Team (KHST) was feeding more than 200 people in sub-zero temperatures in Glasgow’s snowy George Square back in February.

The pic at the centre of the story, branded “devastating” by Scottish Labour Leader Anas Sarwar, has now inspired Bowie to release a charity single that is going head-to-head in the charts with Justin Bieber and Lil Nas X.

But the cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s Sound of Silence is more Scotsman than Starman and radio DJ George Bowie, not late pop icon David, is the mastermind behind the track alongside singer-songwriter Phil Campbell. 

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KHST volunteer Andy Lockhard told The Big Issue the gesture is a welcome one as the group have seen the numbers of people needing support rise since February.

He told The Big Issue: “George is such an iconic figure in the central belt of Scotland and it’s great exposure for the charity to have somebody like that sing our praises and support us in such a way.

“I would say the numbers we are dealing with have gotten larger since February unfortunately. 

“We were noticing a larger amount of people coming from different demographics in society and that has become more prevalent now than it has ever been – we are seeing white-collar workers coming to us for aid now.”

The charity single raced into the iTunes chart’s top-10 early this week with the iconic photo of the food queue featured on the single’s cover artwork. The shot incited fury on social media when it was shared in February and it tugged on George Bowie’s heart-strings too. 

The Radio Clyde 1 breakfast presenter told Glasgow Live the photo “brought home” the issues of food poverty and homelessness to him and the rest of Scotland and was like a scene from a “war-torn country”.

The Sound of Silence by GBX & Phil Campbell is available from the iTunes Store, priced at 79p. All proceeds go to the Kindness Homeless Street Team.

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
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