Rapper Dizzee Rascal has returned to the east London neighbourhood in which he grew up to help distribute meals and food parcels to people in need during the coronavirus crisis.
The star helped volunteers at Bygrove Primary School in Poplar, serving meals and packing parcels containing enough food to make five meals for a family of four.
Before the pandemic, the school initiative only supplied low-income parents with food during the holidays. But organisers stepped up after the lockdown began and started providing 5,000 meals a week to families in Poplar struggling to afford or access food.
Dizzee volunteered as part of his work with Kitchen Social – the Mayor’s Fund for London programme providing food for children across the capital during the school holidays.
“I was given an amazing opportunity to visit and help out Kitchen Social at Bygrove Primary School in Poplar, who are providing free food, books and school equipment to kids in the local area where I grew up,” he said.
“Thank you to all the amazing people I met and thanks to the Mayor’s Fund for London for connecting the dots.”
Bygrove Primary School is also receiving vital supplies from The Independent’s Help the Hungry campaign appeal partner The Felix Project.
The food surplus charity, which delivers to hundreds of food banks and community projects across London, began helping the school at the start of the crisis by dropping off one or two trays of fresh produce and staple items each week.
The charity has since increased the supply from one or two trays of food each week to 40 trays to help organisers cope with the huge demand.
Mark Causton, manager of the school’s initiative, said: “The Felix Project have been an immense help – I can’t praise them enough.
“We know we’ll need to carry on this work right through the summer, so we rely on all the fresh food they’re supplying.”
Mr Causton added: “We’ve seen a lot of parents furloughed or losing work over the past couple of months.
“In the case of some families struggling to afford to buy shopping, this is one of their only sources of getting food for their children.
“It was really great to have Dizzee Rascal here helping out. He got stuck in, and got on so well with all the volunteers and all the families.
“It was just nice to see a smile on a lot of people’s faces.”