Jane Byam Shaw has been awarded an OBE for services to the community in London, an acknowledgement of the contribution made by her and The Felix Project to supplying food to the capital’s struggling communities over the Covid crisis.
Last year they supplied the equivalent of 30 million meals to 1,000 frontline charities and food hubs, becoming London’s largest food redistribution charity, and this year they are on track to deliver 40 million meals.
Founded in 2016 by Justin Byam Shaw, in honour of his and Jane’s son, Felix, who died suddenly from meningitis in 2014 aged 14, The Felix Project sought to use staggering food surpluses in London to tackle food poverty, transforming an environmental problem into a social solution.
It was backed from the outset by our 2016 Food for London campaign and again in 2020 by our award-winning Food For London Now campaign in partnership with our sister paper The Independent, which helped The Felix Project raise an extraordinary £12 million and led to a quadrupling of its food redistribution.
In six years, the charity has expanded exponentially from just one employee and one van at a tiny depot in West London to an operation with four giant depots, 50 vans and 4,000 volunteers. Currently 750 charities are on a waiting list for Felix food, showing the extent of need in the capital.
Ms Byam Shaw OBE said: “It’s a privilege to have had the opportunity to build this wonderful charity where staff and volunteers work towards our vision of a London where good food is never wasted and nobody goes hungry. With Londoners struggling to feed their families, we are needed now more than ever.”
Justin Byam Shaw added: “This award recognises the huge contribution The Felix Project has made in response to the growing hunger crises. Jane has been a leading part of our extraordinary story and we couldn’t have achieved what we have without her. On a personal note, I know how much courage she has shown to create such overwhelming public good from our family’s tragedy.”
Charlotte Hill, chief executive of The Felix Project, said: “The Felix Project will play its part in the cost-of-living crisis with the same energy as we did the COVID crisis. We are proud to see Jane recognised with this award; she is the heart and soul of our project and, together with Justin, has provided inspiring leadership and vision to us all.”