Mowgli Street Food joined Manchester’s busy restaurant scene last summer as part of the new look Corn Exchange in the city centre. As well as bringing great value, fresh and edgy Indian small plate recipes to the city, owner Nisha Katona was keen to really make a positive difference in the local community through her business.
Following a visit to Manchester’s Booth Centre, a day centre supporting homeless people and with concern for the growing number of people sleeping rough in the city, Nisha vowed to do something to help. Nisha and Mowgli Street Food are now proud to be the first restaurant partner in the Booth Centre’s Food for Change initiative. An optional donation of £1 added to each bill is helping to raise vital funds to go towards the centre’s work in supporting people to move off the streets and realise a more positive future. In just 3 months, the scheme has contributed over £7,000 towards the Booth Centre’s services. In addition, restaurant staff will give their time to volunteer at the centre and collect essential items of food and toiletries.
The Booth Centre provides advice to find accommodation, education, training and help to secure employment, free healthy meals, support in tackling issues with health and addiction, and creative activities to boost confidence and self-esteem. Amanda Croome, CEO of the Booth Centre said:
“We are now seeing up to 100 people a day coming to us for support, a huge increase in the last 12 months. The money raised by Mowgli is helping us to continue to offer life-saving support for people in our city who find themselves forced to sleep rough, whether it be emergency help like food and showers, or the more long term support and advice to move off the streets. We’re delighted to be working in partnership with such a passionate local business whose staff are keen to really get involved with the work of centre. We can’t thank them enough for what they’re doing and would encourage other restaurants interested in supporting our Food for Change initiative to get in touch.”
Entrepreneur, Food for Change Ambassador and author, Nisha said:
“When choosing a charity to support, it is critical that my staff feel enthusiasm and motivated. We often visit the Booth Centre and are constantly blown away by the incredible work they do to change lives. As a barrister, my clients were often homeless and I know first-hand how homelessness is often seen as self-inflicted and unworthy. The Booth Centre is not a hand out organisation: they fundamentally turn lives around by retraining and equipping people to find their feet. The idea of the optional addition to the bill came to me when I ate out in London recently; their generous service charges are automatically added on even if service has been diabolical. It means customers have to engage a bit of brain before paying the bill. There is no reason why we should not do the same if that small addition actually takes a life in our local community and makes it whole again.“
On Wednesday 4th May 7pm Nisha Katona will discuss the story behind Mowgli at Waterstones Deansgate, whilst cooking some of the restaurant's favourite recipes, with an audience Q&A and book signing for Nisha's wonderful first book Pimp My Rice. Tickets £4, available on www.waterstones.com/events or 0161 837 3000