Fair Priced Meals at Fair Play

Fair Play Café

Fair Play Café

The seemingly boundless enthusiasm of the Anchorage project has led to the creation of a new scheme for the local community that’s aiming to address a few urgent and quite different problems at once. Joe Donnelly spoke to NewsFour from the Fair Play Café on the first night of their weekly Wednesday evening suppers.

“The evening is for people who are unwaged, lonely, disconnected or isolated. €5 will pay for a three course meal, which we’ll be providing every week from now on, and the proceeds lodged in a separate account. Once a month it will be totalled.”

“We do a lot of different projects here at the Anchorage: we have the Fair Play Café, we run a crèche, but this Wednesday is a bit of a leap forward.”

The timing of the supper club is a crucial element. Joe explained that, while at the Sean Moore Awards this year, he fell into conversation with Christy Burke, the current Lord Mayor. “He told me that his mother would tend to call him at the same time every evening, around 6 or 7 o’clock because she felt lonely.” The crew at the Anchorage seized on that time of the evening as a common low point among people who may lack for comfort or company.

Fair Play Café
The first evening was busy from very early on (the dinner runs from 6 until 8pm) and for Joe was – as he puts it – “an answer to a prayer”.

The total that is raised every month will go where the community wants it to go, hence the idea of addressing more than one social problem at once. “One current possibility is putting a lift in Cambridge Court. Let’s say we make €1000 one month, maybe then the Aviva Stadium, or Dublin Bus or someone like that decides to match us or double what we have raised. Within a year, that lift could be in place. That’s a For Instance.”

The potency of grassroots fundraising is in its versatility. Another aspect of what the Fair Play do is in helping the homeless: “We run a loyalty card scheme as you may or may not know, so as a separate initiative.”

Any donations made in tips are added up, and loyalty cards with €10 credit on them are donated to the homeless so they can have a meal at the Fair Play for free. It’s just one more way of serving the community from the community.

The suppers are available every Wednesday evening from 6pm to 8pm.

By Rúairí Conneely