Readers had contacted The Pavement
to report that the van, known for its early-morning distribution of pies, had not been seen in its usual spot at Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank.
The charity confirmed the van was still distributing food, however, one of the Fund's governors said the driver sometimes had difficulty parking in that area, and could be found along Southwark Bridge Road instead. The charity's history stretches right back to the 1880s, when it was founded by Christian Herald proprietor Reverend Baxter and his wife. It initially provided food for the hungry, but its services gradually extended to distributing clothing, providing accommodation for "stranded women and girls" and launching the All Night Travelling Cafe, which still distributes piping hot pasties, pies and sausage rolls.
Today, as well as distributing food, the Silver Lady Fund supports other initiatives, for example funding the pod temporary housing units at Lorica St Patrick's shelter in Brighton (see issue 12 of The Pavement
). And every Christmas they distribute packages which include food, a pair of warm socks... and a silver coin.