Dorchester pledges to help feed needy


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The Independent Online

London's poverty-stricken elderly citizens could soon be enjoying swapping meals on wheels and soup for Michelin-starred food straight from the kitchens of one of the capital's most luxurious hotels.

The Dorchester in Park Lane, Mayfair, is supporting a scheme by Citizens UK to donate leftover food to local charities for the capital's homeless and hungry.

More than 100 food outlets have signed up and 200 charities are awaiting accreditation from the organisers of the new initiative, which is called Plan Zheroes. The five-star Dorchester boasts a three-Michelin star restaurant led by chef Alain Ducasse. Organiser Chris Wilkie, who has met families so poor they take turns to have a hot meal, said other big hotels should follow The Dorchester in committing to the cause. "The Dorchester puts on these events and they over-cater," he said. "Some of the charities could be getting Michelin-starred food."

Plan Zheroes aims to reduce food waste and help those going hungry. As the credit crunch hit, food waste decreased. But an estimated 7.2 million tons of edible food was still sent to landfills in 2010-11. The organisation runs an interactive map of charities and donors, acting as a matchmaker between those who need food and those who have plenty to give away.

Henry Brosi, executive chef at The Dorchester said: "It is early stages but we are in conversation with Plan Zheroes and we hope to be able to work with them and give something back to the community. 

"Catering for the right numbers is an art at The Dorchester so we have only a fractional amount of waste; however in our busiest banqueting season, we might be able to provide food for 20 people in one week.  We hope to support this worthwhile initiative with this contribution."