Soup kitchens should stop serving food to the homeless to get them off the streets, according to a central London council.
Westminster has more homeless people than other borough
Westminster City Council is thought to have the most rough sleepers in the country and wants to move them into hostels.
It has been considering various "tough love" policies, including fining rough sleepers £500 and backing moves to give persistent beggars a criminal record.
But despite a drop in rough sleeper numbers from 267 in June 1998 to 116 this February, a hardcore of homeless people will not accept beds provided.
The council believes soup runs take away the motivation to come off the streets into hostels where they can get specialist care.
The Salvation Army said a minority of homeless people need the kind of front-line help provided by soup runs.
But council leader Simon Milton said: "The compassionate thing to do is get people off the streets, into specialist care, rather than sustain them there - and that's what soup runs are doing."
Mr Milton says hostels provide specialist care
Homeless charity Thames Reach Bondway said there were up to 100 soup runs in central London.
It stopped handing out hot food and instead offers first aid and basic help to encourage people into shelters.
Spokesman Jeremy Swain said: "In one particular site in central London we had eight rough sleepers left in the end, and over eight runs serving them during the night.
"It has become very disproportionate response to a problem on the streets."