Housing

Deliveroo is offering free meals to LGBTQ+ people facing homelessness

People will be able to get a free meal at 11 restaurants across London, Brighton, Bristol and Norwich by saying “I’m a friend of Dorothy” at the till

Deliveroo funding free meals for LGBTQ+ homeless people

Deliveroo said offering free food could give a "much-needed lifeline" to members of the LGBTQ+ community struggling with homelessness. Image: Ross Sneddon / Unsplash

LGBTQ+ people experiencing homelessness or struggling to afford food can get a free meal as part of a new trial from Deliveroo for Pride Month.

Deliveroo has joined forces with LGBTQ+ youth homelessness charity akt to fund thousands of meals ordered at 11 restaurants across London, Brighton, Bristol and Norwich.

People experiencing homelessness will be able to get a free meal paid for by the delivery company and discreet guidance on how to access help from akt by saying “I’m a friend of Dorothy” or “Dorothy” at the till when ordering.

The offer is available at six LGBTQ+ owned restaurants across the four cities with The Athenian, Club Mexicana, Smashing Plates, Tonkotsu, Bleecker Burger and Hank’s Dirty all taking part.

Lea Duchemin, co-lead of Deliveroo’s LGBTQ+ Network, Deloveroo, said: “Deliveroo is a proud ally of the LGBTQ+ community, all year round. The move towards supporting the homeless and vulnerable people comes following the shocking numbers and terribly sad situations a number of LGBTQ+ people are finding themselves in.

“Food is what we do best and helping feed people at their most vulnerable, in a supportive and safe space, and directing them towards vital information, could be a much-needed lifeline.”

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One meal per person can be redeemed per day and the initiative will initially run for up to three months, or until all meals have been redeemed, Deliveroo said. Customers at participating restaurants will also be encouraged to donate to akt through in-restaurant posters, window stickers and QR codes. 

Deliveroo LGBTQ+
Restaurant customers will also be invited to support akt. Image: Deliveroo

The move comes after LGBTQ+ homelessness charity akt revealed referrals have increased by 58% in the last three years.

The charity previously estimated that around 24% of people experiencing homelessness identify as LGBTQ+.

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Tim Spoor, chief executive of akt said: “LGBTQ+ young people are at an increased risk of homelessness and housing insecurity. We know that more than 24% of young people experiencing homelessness identify as LGBTQ+.

“In 2023, LGBTQ+ young people are still facing homelessness because of their sexuality and gender identity, and the cost of living crisis is pushing more young people into homelessness. This Deliveroo initiative will help provide food to LGBTQ+ young people struggling to afford the day-to-day essentials that we take for granted.”

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