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Mercury Prize: Food from cancelled show is given to homeless people

Mercury Prize: Food from cancelled show is given to homeless people

A restaurant owner says the nation has "come together" as a team of volunteers rushed to collect food from a cancelled event to feed 250 homeless people.

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The Mercury Prize awards show at the Hammersmith Apollo was scrapped after news of the Queen's death on Thursday.

Shortlisted artist and singer Self Esteem appealed for help on Twitter and caught the attention of Amrit Maan, owner of Punjab Covent Garden.

"It shows we can come together as a nation, we're one big tribe," he said.

After the cancellation of the west London ceremony recognising the best British album of the year, Mr Maan organised the 17 batches of food to be stored at his restaurant ahead of its distribution to homeless people over the weekend.

He said: "We're proud of our royalty, of the Queen and it was devastating to hear - [it is] like a grandmother passing away.

"And when that call came about in the early evening, I didn't think twice."

A group of volunteers, including homelessness charity Under One Sky founder Mikkel Iversen and volunteer Leila Al-Baldawi, banded together in the pouring rain to make sure the food was rescued and stored safely.

Mr Maan sent two of his employees to collect the food, prepared for hundreds of guests at the event, and they helped a wider team place the trays in a chill blaster at his restaurant.

Mr Maan, who was awarded an OBE for his services to the community and charity in 2021, said: "It just shows how on such a dark day, [there is] humanity, compassion, light.

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