'Gift from Stephen': Homeless people enjoy special Easter meal from Hawking family

By on
stephen hawking
Physicist Stephen Hawking sits on stage during an announcement of the Breakthrough Starshot initiative with investor Yuri Milner in New York April 12, 2016. Reuters/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

More than 40 homeless people were able to enjoy an Easter feast as renowned physicist Professor Stephen Hawking’s gift. The meal was delivered to people in need in Cambridge.

The Hawkings have paid for a huge Easter meal with decorations and flowers. A note on the flowers left on all tables reads; "Today's lunch is a gift from Stephen- From the Hawking family."

Speaking to BBC, Alex Collis from FoodCycle, which uses donated or unused food to provide free meals for people in need, said that the Hawkings' donation "made the room look extra nice and Eastery and enabled the charity to buy treats for diners who often don't have a lot.” Collis described the family's gesture as "very kind,” fitting well with the sympathy Hawking felt for people having a tough time in life.

Collis mentioned the late professor’s daughter Lucy Hawking as saying that the family would like to make a donation as the funeral took place so people would sit down to a hot meal “on Stephen.” FoodCycle Cambridge expressed gratitude to the Hawking family for a “generous donation” that made the extra special Easter meal possible.

The meal was held at Wesley Church. "For Stephen Hawking's funeral, his family made a generous donation and told us lunch was on Stephen,” volunteer Caroline Lenoury said, adding that it was an extra special and emotional Easter lunch at Foodcycle Cambridge. Volunteers and guests shared some photos of the spread on social media.

Charity volunteers have been preparing meals every Saturday at Wesley Methodist Church in Cambridge city centre. A Twitter user said he hopes the “lovely gesture” would raise awareness and generate more support for organisations feeding those who are hungry or in need of comfort.

Thousands of people gathered on March 31 to pay their respects and celebrate Hawking's achievements. A private funeral service took place at Great St Mary's Church. Around 500 invited guests joined the family for the private funeral.

Playwright Alan Bennett and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk were reportedly on the guest list. Cambridge University graduate and model Lily Cole, actor Eddie Redmayne, astrophysicist Brian May and comedian Dara O Briain made a documentary about the professor. Hawking had been a fellow of Gonville and Caius College for 52 years.