Food for London Now: Evening Standard appeal helps serve 25,000 meals to children over half-term

Vincent Wood
·2 min read
Manchester United's Marcus Rashford celebrates after scoring against Paris St Germain. He is odds-on favourite to win SPOTY: REUTERS
Manchester United's Marcus Rashford celebrates after scoring against Paris St Germain. He is odds-on favourite to win SPOTY: REUTERS

The Evening Standard’s Food For London Now appeal will be aiding the provision of 25,000 free meals to children this half-term as an army of volunteers tackle hunger in the capital.

Our appeal partner, the Felix Project, which has already served more than 13 million lockdown meals through the support of our Food For London Now campaign, is to work with more than 80 school holiday programmes over the break to provide nutritious meals from food that would otherwise be wasted.

It comes as businesses and voluntary organisations across the country step up to support children living with food insecurity after the Government ruled out additional support for the UK’s 1.3 million free school meal recipients during the half-term break.

Founded in 2016, The Felix Project rescues quality surplus items from farms, supermarkets and restaurants and redistributes them to groups including schools, churches, charities, homeless shelters and women’s shelters. Hundreds of volunteers are working throughout the break to ensure school holiday programmes are able to feed thousands who would otherwise be left without free meal provisions — with fresh vegetables, fruit, meat and fish enabling those living below the poverty line to receive high-quality food.

Groups set to be supported by the charity also include pop-up food banks in schools that will provide families with the ingredients they need to make nutritious meals for their children.

The Standard’s Food For London Now campaign was set up in the early days of the lockdown to raise £10 million to help fight against hunger in vulnerable communities across the UK.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Olivia Colman, Ellie Goulding and Jack Whitehall are among those who volunteered to help.

The money donated to The Felix Project, London’s largest food redistribution organisation, has helped it double its capacity and deliver enough food for a million meals every month. It is aiming to have supplied 19 million meals by the end of the year. It comes as a petition calling for government action to end child hunger nears a million signatures after being set up by England and Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford. He has called for an expansion of the free school meals initiatives, an increase to the Healthy Start voucher scheme as well as for government to provide meals and activities during holidays.

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