Scottish pub helps homeless, refugees in Hungary


The Caledonia Scottish Pub in Budapest has been offering thousands of hot meals for the homeless and refugees in Hungary, as the country has been facing unusually extreme low temperatures this winter, according to reports.

The initiative of pub owners Patrick McMenamin (pictured) and, in particular, business partner Zsuzsanna Bozó, has been joined by volunteers, among them expat and Hungarian customers, and soon attracted diplomatic attention; U.K. Ambassador to Hungary Iain Lindsay OBE and his wife Bridget also joined to help prepare the meals, which are distributed by the Age of Hope foundation. 

Lindsay (like McMenamin a Scot) posted the following on McMenaminʼs Facebook page: “Great to see one of nicest pubs around (the Caledonia in Pest) getting some coverage for their wonderful initiative to help feed some of Budapestʼs homeless during this bitterly cold weather. Bridget and I just helped out one night but she was back there Friday peeling veggies. [...] Well done Patrick and Zsuzsi, and also the Caledonia team and punters!”

Caledonia is reported to be distributing 250-300 portions per night. One of the nights was backed by Tesco Hungary, according to reports, which provided ingredients as a way of sponsoring the initiative; the soup kitchen is expected to last as long as the weather stays extremely cold (or while stocks last), and at the time of writing has already been running for 10 days.

The daily progress of the campaign can be followed on the official Facebook page of Caledonia Budapest Scottish Pub & Shop

The Caledonia has also joined the “free coat initiative” that is spreading across Budapest. People who have a winter coat they no longer use simply bring it along and hang it on the coat rail outside the pub, and homeless people in need of a coat are able to take one for free.

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