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Standard and Indy’s massive drive to Help the Hungry gains momentum

Posted on: May 7, 2020 by Mariella Brown

The Evening Standard and the Independent’s food drive to support those going hungry during the coronavirus crisis has gathered momentum this week with famous faces joining the £10m campaign.

George Osborne, the Standard’s editor told the SoE: “We are proud, as a newspaper, to be highlighting this critical issue and to be playing our part.”

Among celebrities backing the campaign by volunteering to help distribute the food is Fleabag star Phoebe Waller Bridge – pictured in the Evening Standard (above), Crown actress Olivia Colman and comedian Jack Whitehall.

The Independent’s Help the Hungry and the Standard’s Food For London Now campaigns have already raised £3.7m since the appeal’s launch on March 27 for the charity The Felix Project.

The paper has told the SoE that the money raised so far has enabled the charity to quadruple its food supplies to 40 tonnes a day, the equivalent of 100,000 meals.

Osborne added, “We have committed to raise £10M to ensure The Felix Project has the resources to help vulnerable Londoners over the next three years.”

The Standard led its front-page campaign this week warning of the deepening food crisis for 130,000 London families. Research for the Food Foundation charity shows more than one in 10 families have reported at least one person in their household has gone hungry during lockdown due to being unable to afford or access food.

The titles are partnered with The Felix Project – a charity the papers helped launch in 2016 – taking food that would otherwise be thrown away to the homeless, young people and the elderly.

Money-raising initiatives by celebrities include Jack Whitehall’s Stay at Home Burger competition where burger enthusiasts are encouraged to photograph their food creations for judging online. Whitehall also joined The Felix Project to volunteer in food parcel distribution.

The logistical efforts in setting up Food for London Now are not to be underestimated however, as the Standard tells us:

“Food for London Now was in response to an extraordinary Zoom meeting which involved over 100 representatives of each of London’s 33 boroughs to set up a pan-London network and that also involved the three largest food surplus distributors, including The Felix Project, to get nutritious fresh food to people who were unable to afford or access food since lockdown.”

Standard and Independent proprietor Evgeny Lebedev has been seen leading the campaign’s efforts, including writing an impassioned appeal for donations on the Standard’s front page last week.

Donations can be made at virginmoneygiving.com/fund/FoodforLondonNOW