Stephen Hawking’s final gift helped to feed the hungry in Cambridge

On the day of the scientist's funeral, the family funded a special charity Easter meal

Stephen Hawking

While Stephen Hawking’s family was laying the renowned scientist to rest at his funeral on Saturday, elsewhere in Cambridge 50 hungry people were sitting down to a hot meal “on Stephen”.

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FoodCycle, a charity helping the hungry in Cambridge, organised an Easter lunch at a local church – and when the guests turned up they found notes on the tables: “Today’s lunch is a gift from Stephen. From the Hawking family.”

Guests gave a “little cheer” in honour of Hawking before tucking in.

Hawking’s funeral took place in the city on Saturday 31st March following his death at the age of 76.

Alexis Collis, FoodCycle’s East of England Regional Manager, told ITV: “Lucy Hawking [Stephen’s daughter] contacted me and mentioned that the family would like to make a donation so that while the funeral was taking place people would be sitting down to a hot meal ‘on Stephen’.

“It was a really kind gesture that I think fitted well with the sympathy Prof Hawking felt for people who were having a tough time of things.”

The community meal was open to anyone in need of a hot meal and a chat, with guests including the elderly, the homeless, refugees, people with mental health issues, and the unemployed.

FoodCycle Cambridge collects unwanted food from businesses and organisations around the city in order to host a meal every Saturday. The Hawking family’s donation is generous enough to fund several meals for hundreds of future guests.

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“The meals are open to anyone and there’s no need to book or have a voucher,” Collis explained. “No questions are asked and the meals have a great community feel with groups of difference people who might not otherwise meeting sitting down round a table together.”