Food for London
Food for London: Grants of over £350K announced
Londoners suffering from hunger and food insecurity were given a boost today as our Food for London campaign gave out over £350,000 in grants to charities that use fresh surplus food to tackle food poverty.
A total of £358,500 has been allocated to 29 community groups in grants of up to £20,000 each from the Evening Standard Dispossessed Fund, taking total grant giving by the fund to £11.96 million, the most money ever distributed by a newspaper-led charitable initiative in this country.
Projects we have funded include The Antwerp Arms, a unique community-owned pub in Tottenham that cooks lunches to feed the needy, as well as charities repurposing food surpluses to cook meals for the poor in homeless hostels, churches and schools across London.
The grants bonanza comes as our campaign flagship charity, The Felix Project, which collects surplus produce from supermarkets and wholesalers and delivers it to charities, increased their food collections to over 500 per month. The fresh food is given to 61 charities to help feed 16,000 struggling Londoners. A United Nations report estimates that more than 800,000 Londoners “worry about their ability to obtain food”, defined as being “food insecure”.
Our Food for London programme proved timely and enormously popular – it was six times oversubscribed with £2.2 million of grant applications from 152 groups across 30 boroughs. The winning grants were agreed in a panel meeting attended by the donors - Citi banking group, D&D London restaurant group and the Dispossessed Fund – as well as representatives of The London Community Foundation, the charity that manages the Dispossessed Fund and who were responsible for assessing and shortlisting groups brought to panel.
James Bardrick, head of Citi in the UK, said: “The progress that’s been made by the Food for London campaign in such a sort time is incredibly impressive, not least the rapid growth of the Felix Project. We are proud to contribute through our Foundation’s Pathways to Progress initiative and, having participated in the selection of community organisations that will benefit from grant funding, are humbled by what Londoners do every day, often on a voluntary basis, to facilitate distribution of surplus food to those who need it most.”
Des Gunewardena, CEO of D&D London, said: “We are delighted that the generous contributions of our guests is going to help such wonderful charitable groups to carry out their vital works.”
Russell Delew, CEO of The London Community Foundation, said: “The fact that the fund was six times oversubscribed tells us this campaign addressed a serious need. Of 152 applications, many were from organisations at early stages in their development with nearly half of the 29 organisations receiving funding operating on an income of less than £100,000. Funding smaller organisations is important as they are embedded in communities and best placed to respond to local need. Thanks to the generosity of Food for London supporters, these groups will be able to make a lasting difference to the lives of people across London.”
To read more about the Food for London campaign, please check out the coverage in the Evening Standard.