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Canary Wharf Group and The Felix Project, a food redistribution charity have agreed a long-term partnership that will see them join forces to tackle food poverty in London.
The two organisations aim to deliver long term social impact while prioritising sustainability as they tackle this urgent issue, which sees around 400,000 children in the capital going to bed without eating a proper evening meal.
The Felix Project, which has four depots across London, including one close to Canary Wharf in nearby Poplar, will benefit from the strength, vibrancy and scale of the Estate. Canary Wharf Groupwill facilitate access to its businesses, workers and residents while also providing facilities, logistics assistance and support in the form of volunteering and fundraising drives.
The first major initiative will be the launch of the new Canary Wharf Green Scheme, which involves volunteers from the Estate delivering surplus food from retailers directly to local charities, schools and community organisations. Several retailers on the Estate have already signed up to the scheme, including M&S, Joe Blake’s and Waitrose. With over 70 cafes, bars and restaurants and seven grocery stores on the Estate, the two organisations are aiming for many more to come on board over the coming months.
The Green Scheme will launch this week – at capacity this will provide over 1,000 meals each week, through around 10 different local community organisations, saving over 500 kilos of good food from going to waste. To make this happen, Canary Wharf Group and The Felix Project are aiming to recruit as many as 1,500 volunteers.
The next phase of the partnership will see surplus ingredients from Canary Wharf’s restaurants and office canteens rescued and cooked into hot meals at Felix Kitchen in nearby Poplar, which will be distributed to local community organisations.
Shobi Khan, CEO at Canary Wharf Group comments: “We are delighted to be partnering with The Felix Project. At Canary Wharf Group, we understand that we have a responsibility to create a positive and lasting impact that goes beyond the buildings and places we create.
“Our purpose is to bring people together to enhance lives now and, in the future, and we have always prided ourselves on our ability to create long-standing meaningful relationship with our communities based around Canary Wharf. Through partnerships like this we aim to ensure Canary Wharf is more than just a place to live or work, but a place where you can be connected to the local community and can have a positive social impact.
“The business community at Canary Wharf has a big part to play in making The Felix Project a success and indeed some of our local companies are already on board, including Morgan Stanley and Barclays. With such a concentration of retail and office businesses on the Estate, a key part of our role as partner will be to introduce the charity to our wider community and bring the scale that’s needed to have a real, lasting effect on local people’s lives.
“We have so many people who can play their part, whether they work, live or regularly visit here, and I urge anyone willing to spare a couple of hours to sign up to volunteer and help us get surplus food to those who need it the most.”
Charlotte Hill, CEO of The Felix Project comments: “In the UK, 4.7m people are struggling with the cost of food. This is an issue we cannot afford to ignore and the situation is critical as the cost-of-living crisis intensifies. Many Londoners are trying to feed themselves on less than £3 a day.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Canary Wharf Group as they’re in the unique position to be able to convene the hundreds of businesses, retailers, employees and residents on the Estate to tackle this issue together, meaning we’ll have a much greater social impact than we would otherwise. They have the access and logistics that we need to make the scheme a success at a time when the need is so high, and are committed to the same long lasting, sustainable and meaningful change that we built our charity for.”
Through the partnership, Canary Wharf Group will be hosting a number of fundraising opportunities including The Felix Project’s first flagship event in autumn, to be announced in the coming months.