Stephen Hawking's Family Shares Generous 'Gift From Stephen' On The Day Of His Funeral

"To think of others at such a sad time is incredible."

Stephen Hawking's family spent Saturday remembering the theoretical physicist at his funeral at Cambridge University's Great St. Mary's Church. On the same day, they also honored Hawking's charitable spirit by donating to a nearby Easter lunch for those in need.

According to BBC, 50 guests had an extra-special meal from FoodCycle thanks to the family's donation. Lunch was cooked by volunteers from food that would otherwise be dumped, provided by the usual suppliers — but the Hawkings' generosity helped the room to "look extra nice and Eastery," and paid for extra Easter treats.

"They wanted to do something to support people going through a tough time," Alex Collis of FoodCycle told BBC. "It was a really lovely gesture .... and very kind of them to think of FoodCycle."

Cards were placed on tables which read, "Today's lunch is a gift from Stephen ... from the Hawking family." As volunteer Vibhuti Patel wrote on Twitter, "to think of others at such a sad time is incredible."

The Cambridge branch of FoodCycle, one of 34 projects around the U.K., has been providing free meals every Saturday at Wesley Methodist Church for eight years. According to the Huffington Post UK, FoodCycle serves 850 meals each week at its various locations.

The gesture is in keeping with Hawking's generosity before his death. The Stephen Hawking Foundation, for example, supports work for motor neuron disease. Hawking was also a longtime supporter of SOS Children's Villages, which helps orphaned and abandoned children. 

"Everyone raised a glass to Professor Hawking and gave him a cheer before tucking into lunch," Collis told the Huffington Post. "It was quite something to see, and we're just really proud to have been involved."

Cover image: The World in HDR /

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