New Edinburgh pizza shop aims to provide 1,000 pizzas for homeless by Christmas
A new pizza shop which enables customers to donate pizzas to homeless people will open in Edinburgh this weekend.
Pizza Geeks have been a familiar sight in food courts at the capital's festivals with their Neapolitan inspired handmade, wood-fired pizzas in their stall.
But they have now upgraded to a shop at 19 Dalry Road which will be open seven days a week.
The team also run a socially conscious dining initiative called Pizza for the People - similar to that of Social Bite's scheme - which sees sales of the month's featured pizza matched and donated to the homeless people of Edinburgh.
Co-founder Finlay Clarkson says they have donated 805 pizzas this calendar year and the aim is to hit the 1,000 mark by Christmas.
Finlay says they work with local charity organisation Soul Food to distribute the pizzas, and have also just teamed up with Cyrenians to help distribute vouchers so that people can come in to get food when it's most convenient for them.
He added: "Up until now we have only been doing one-off events or pop-ups but with the restaurant we have really got the opportunity to build that with regular trade.
"From speaking with Soul Food and Cyrenians, one of the things with the homeless community in Edinburgh is that there still is not provision for a meal time throughout the seven days.
"We are hoping the number of pizzas available will increase more than there is demand. In theory, we want to be able to accumulate these paid-for pizzas quickly."
Finlay says that the voucher scheme could be up and running within the next week to 10 days.
The aim is that donations will also be used in the longer term for training and skills within the homeless community to help vulnerable people get back on their feet.
Finlay also said that they hope to team up with Social Bite to provide pizzas during this year's Sleep in the Park event on December 8th. This year, events will be taking place in Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen as well as in Edinburgh's Princes Street Gardens.
The Pizza Geeks website highlights that there werre 34,864 applications for homlessness assistance in Scotland in the 12 months to the end of September 2017 - 3,258 of those applications were made in Edinburgh alone.
As part of their launch, Pizza Geeks also ran a competition on Facebook where the winner would receive a year's supply of free pizza. The deadline for this has now passed, with Amy Booth being announced as the winner.
But if you can get yourself down to the shop from 7pm on Friday or on Saturday, you could pick up some free giveaways or try the restaurant's arcade machine - and some pizza of course.