Last Christmas, thanks to the generosity of readers and donors, our Food for London Now appeal surpassed its incredible target of raising £10 million to feed London’s poorest.
Today we proudly announce the launch of the largest social kitchen in central London, as part of a scheme to cook and distribute 1.5 million meals a year to young people and vulnerable families.
Covid-19 may be getting under control and the vaccine roll-out continues apace, but the damage wrought by the pandemic continues to scar our city. Around 100,000 children in London — one in eight — experienced food insecurity in the past six to nine months, according to The Food Foundation, while young people aged 18 to 24 have seen the greatest decrease in pay-rolled employees since the start of the pandemic, with Londoners especially exposed given the size of our hospitality sector.
Therefore the social kitchen, staffed by 12 professional chefs and 50 volunteers and situated in Tower Hamlets, where more than half of children live in poverty, will make a real difference to the lives of Londoners.
Thanks to a £1million grant from the Evening Standard’s Dispossessed Fund, the kitchen will begin making 1,000 meals a day, rising to a staggering 6,000 meals and extending to feed the homeless, elderly and unemployed.
We are proud to be London’s newspaper and have told the stories of Londoners who have suffered during the pandemic.
But with that pride also comes a responsibility to make a difference during tough times. This is the latest step in our campaign to eradicate hunger from our city.