Richard Smith, supply manager of The Felix Project, says food suppliers ‘have really stepped up to the plate’

Richard Smith, supply manager of The Felix Project, says food suppliers ‘have really stepped up to the plate’

Our appeal to tackle escalating hunger surged past £4m on Friday, thanks to a £250,000 donation from online supermarket chain Ocado and additional support from key food suppliers.
The new landmark reached in just seven weeks came as the Childrens Commissioner for England applauded our Help The Hungry campaign and said we should never accept it as normal for children to go hungry.
Addressing The Independents pledge to raise £10m for The Felix Project, our appeal partner, commissioner Anne Longfield said: For so many children, the initial excitement of unexpected time off school has faded and they are missing friends, structure to their day, learning and a good meal provided.
Download the new Independent Premium app
Sharing the full story, not just the headlines
Download now
We should never forget that in this country, in this day and age, sadly it is still possible, indeed a reality, for some children to go hungry, and we should never accept that as normal or just how it is and shrug our shoulders.
I applaud The Independents efforts with this campaign and congratulate them on raising so much.
left
Created with Sketch.
right
Created with Sketch.
Shape
Created with Sketch.
Evgeny Lebedev and the rapper Ksi help out at a Felix Project centre
1/8
Evening Standard proprietor Evgeny Lebedev was joined by rapper KSI to help hand out food to vulnerable people at the St. Cuthbert’s Centre in Ear’s Court
2/8
Magic Andy performs a trick for Evgeny and JJ – better known as KSI.
3/8
Evening Standard and The Independent proprietor Evgeny Lebedev was joined by rapper KSI to help hand out food to vulnerable people at the St. Cuthbert’s Centre in Earl’s Court.
4/8
Cupcakes decorated with Damien Hirst’s Butterfly Heart 2020 image were given out to homeless people
5/8
A man wears an Iron Man mask as he queues up for food during the coronavirus pandemic.
6/8
Conversation at the St. Cuthbert’s Centre in Earl’s Court.
The 30-year-old charity was joined by Refettorio Felix in 2017 through a collaboration with Chef Massimo Bottura’s non-profit organisation Food for Soul, creating the current Refettorio Felix at St. Cuthbert’s Centre. The centre helps sustain and support vulnerable people
7/8
Evening Standard proprietor Evgeny Lebedev was joined by rapper KSI to help hand out food to vulnerable people at the St. Cuthbert’s Centre in Earl’s Court
8/8
Rapper KSI helps hand out food to vulnerable people at the St. Cuthbert’s Centre in Earl’s Court
1/8
Evening Standard proprietor Evgeny Lebedev was joined by rapper KSI to help hand out food to vulnerable people at the St. Cuthbert’s Centre in Ear’s Court
2/8
Magic Andy performs a trick for Evgeny and JJ – better known as KSI.
3/8
Evening Standard and The Independent proprietor Evgeny Lebedev was joined by rapper KSI to help hand out food to vulnerable people at the St. Cuthbert’s Centre in Earl’s Court.
4/8
Cupcakes decorated with Damien Hirst’s Butterfly Heart 2020 image were given out to homeless people
5/8
A man wears an Iron Man mask as he queues up for food during the coronavirus pandemic.
6/8
Conversation at the St. Cuthbert’s Centre in Earl’s Court.
The 30-year-old charity was joined by Refettorio Felix in 2017 through a collaboration with Chef Massimo Bottura’s non-profit organisation Food for Soul, creating the current Refettorio Felix at St. Cuthbert’s Centre. The centre helps sustain and support vulnerable people
7/8
Evening Standard proprietor Evgeny Lebedev was joined by rapper KSI to help hand out food to vulnerable people at the St. Cuthbert’s Centre in Earl’s Court
8/8
Rapper KSI helps hand out food to vulnerable people at the St. Cuthbert’s Centre in Earl’s Court
The money raised in conjunction with our sister title the Evening Standard has empowered The Felix Project to quadruple its deliveries to 40 tonnes a day, providing a lifeline to the vulnerable in London in the form of more than 2 million meals since we launched in March.
Jo West, head of sustainability at Ocado, which gave seven tonnes of food to The Felix Project in April, praised Felix for making a tremendous difference to so many people in the most vulnerable situations.
She added: In these unprecedented times, Felix has upscaled to meet the challenge. We couldnt be prouder to donate and help them to get food to people in the most difficult situations.
Another supplier to go the extra mile is Reach Food Service, a provider of premium ingredients to Londons gourmet restaurants, which has donated £10,000.
In addition it has pledged £1 for every home delivery during 2020 of its newly launched Reach My Kitchen initiative dispensing meat, seafood and poultry ingredients normally reserved for Londons top chefs directly to households and which it estimates will raise its total donation to £50,000.
Other food-linked organisations that have already supported our appeal include The Daylesford Foundation, which donated £100,000, and Hello Fresh with £25,000.
Critically, food companies have also pitched in with vital food supplies. Richard Smith, supply manager of The Felix Project, said they had really stepped up to the plate.
Some companies have hugely increased their supplies to us, he said. Innocent normally give us five pallets a week but this week we took 24 pallets off them. Same with Müller their contribution has quadrupled.
Evgeny Lebedev, a shareholder in The Independent, said: Our Food for London Now campaign has raised £4m in just seven weeks. With more than 1,500 reader donations, and the support of London companies, we have reached heights few expected.
We have told the stories of the people who are suffering during this pandemic. The homeless, the unemployed, the isolated. And we have saluted the innovative people who have applied their skills to helping them in this crisis.
The capital has heard our call, but the hunger crisis has not peaked just look at the grim economic news from this week. We have committed to raising £10m to ensure the food security of Londoners for three years. So well done, but the hard part comes now.
Here, 11 of Felixs most prolific suppliers (in addition to Ocado) explain why they have chosen to partner with Felix, Londons biggest food surplus distributor.
Felix suppliers and their generous food donations in April:
Hello Fresh
The firm which produces online recipe boxes has donated 39 tonnes. Laurent Guillemain, its CEO, said: We are proud to partner with Felix during the most extraordinary of times. Helping to care for our communities and the vulnerable is more important than ever and we will continue to support this incredible initiative that helps redistribute surplus food however we can.
Müller
A dairy products company which contributed 17 tonnes. The managing director of Müller Yogurt & Desserts, Bergen Merey, said: Over three years ago I committed to this genuine cause, having read the story of young Felix. With a 14-year-old son of my own, I felt inspired by this wonderful initiative in his memory.
Reach Food Service
The restaurant and hotel supplier gave 12 tonnes. Murtaza Lakhani, its owner, said: The twin issues of food waste and hunger are having major impacts on London. We are proud to make a commitment to Felix as well as to supply high quality food stocks and fresh ingredients so that vulnerable families, elderly people and our amazing NHS workers know there is a nutritious meal waiting for them at the end of the day.
Innocent drinks
The company which produces smoothies has donated 11 tonnes. Its head of refreshment marketing, Suraj Gangani, said, Were proud to have supported Felix in getting our healthy drinks to those whove needed them through this tough time.
Celtic Bakers
The craft organic bakery gave 10 tonnes. Its spokesman said: We decided to change the way we approached food waste and engage with just one organisation, The Felix Project. They are an inspiration. We appreciate that the work of Felix will become more critical and widespread now and for the foreseeable future.
The Country Food Trust
A meat supply company that gave 9 tonnes. Tim Woodward, CEO, said: We are delighted to work closely with Felix. Since we started working with them we have delivered over 32,000 meals and 6,200 kilos of meat for cooking.
The Caring Foundation
The company behind restaurants including The Ivy, Le Caprice, Scotts and Sexy Fish contributed 8 tonnes. Richard Caring, its founder, said: During these difficult times we must come together. The fantastic volunteers from Caprice Holdings restaurants and The Ivy Collections have been cooking 20,000 meals a week to supply, in partnership with Felix, some of Londons vulnerable communities. Together we can make a difference.
Oddbox
An online fruit and veg box company which gave 7 tonnes. Its co-founders, Emilie Vanpoperinghe and Deepak Ravindran, said: We rescue odd and surplus fruit and veg directly from farms. Working with Felix means we can prevent delicious food from going to waste.
Reynolds
The catering suppliers donated 7 tonnes. Sarah Reynolds, its head of corporate and social responsibility, said: We have partnered with Felix for some years. Together with many of our customers, we have been able to divert surplus food to those who need it most. We are very proud of this relationship.
Marks & Spencer
The supermarket and clothing retailer gave 6 tonnes. Ryan Kerr, head of M&Ss north London region, said: Through our partnership with community platform Neighbourly, our northwest London stores have donated 3,200 meals to Felix since the start of March to support those who need it most in these communities.
Sainsburys
The supermarket gave 9 tonnes. Its spokesperson said: We have proudly been working with Felix since 2016. They collect surplus food from 24 of our stores and our online distribution centre and a number of our colleagues have volunteered in London.

Share