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Anti-poverty activists slam Social Bite for courting royalty

This news post is over 3 years old

Social firm criticised for its high-profile celebrity endorsements

Anti-poverty campaigners have attacked Social Bite for getting “chummy with politicians and royals.”

It comes after the homeless charity, which runs a chain of cafes across Scotland, hosted prince Harry and fiancé Meghan Markle at its Edinburgh sandwich shop.

Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty (ECAP) which has previously attacked charities taking part in the UK government’s Workfare programme, slammed the social enterprise on Facebook.

The post read: "While Social Bite gets chummy with politicians and royals, we at ECAP and our allies will continue to fight from the grassroots in solidarity with other social movements standing in opposition to capitalism, all politicians, hierarchies and monarchies.

“Instead of Social Bite's top down approach we promote mutual aid and solidarity."

Social Bite has been contacted for a response by TFN as social media users aired their distaste over the way the social firm courted publicity.

One user said: “Why would you invite those who are responsible for the poverty in this country to a charity meant to be fihghting it? #povertyporn

The Rose Street café has been visited by a number of high-profile stars in the past with Leonardo DiCaprio, The Duchess of Cornwall and George Clooney all visiting.

Harry and Meghan spoke with the organisation’s volunteers, customers and also staff who have been affected by homelessness, with Meghan stating that she wanted to work at Social Bite because it seemed "fun."

Facebook user, Craig James, commented: “Publicity at any cost? How can Social Bite justify this? How much do they spend courting these celebrities? I’d rather not see the royals, Clooney or DiCaprio but instead see streets free of rough sleepers. It’s a two-fingered salute to the poor.”

Josh Littlejohn, co-founder of Social Bite told TFN: "Social Bite work at grassroots every day with our staff feeding homeless people from 7am, and the organisation offering homeless people real jobs with support. We are also about to embark on a drive to bring 500 people off the streets into housing with support, as well as launch our village project later this year.

"Our view is that whatever cards you were dealt when you are born, we are all human beings, and we feel it is better to engage with people from all walks of life, particularly if we are asked to speak to people about our work. It is our ethos to affect change by trying to build an inclusive movement and engage constructively with various political parties.

"However we recognise that many organisations have different approaches and we wish the coalition well with their work against poverty."



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