Help a Hungry Child charity appeal smashes £1m mark before Christmas

'Children will be having a happier Christmas thanks to readers' generosity. Having enough healthy food is vital for children'

Anna Davis
Friday 22 December 2017 11:59 GMT
Celebrity chef Francesco Mazzei cooks up a feast with Stanhope Primary schoolchildren
Celebrity chef Francesco Mazzei cooks up a feast with Stanhope Primary schoolchildren (Evening Standard)

Children at the centre of our Help A Hungry Child appeal today said a huge thank you to Independent readers as donations reached the £1million mark in time for Christmas.

The remarkable total has been made possible by donations from our generous readers, as well as businesses that have been touched by the plight of hungry children we have highlighted.

The money will make a real difference to the 500,000 children across the UK who do not have enough to eat.

Our bumper total was boosted by a £75,000 donation from Goldman Sachs as well as support from Marks & Spencer, Just Giving and StreetSmart.

Children at Stanhope Primary school in Greenford were the first to benefit from a market stall filled with fresh, free food, funded by the campaign. They celebrated the fundraising milestone with top Italian chef Francesco Mazzei.

Headteacher Mrs Siddiqui said: “The Help a Hungry Child campaign has already made a real difference to children and their families at our school. We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of Independent readers who have donated to the appeal, and on behalf of the whole school I would like to say thank you.

“Children across London will be having a happier Christmas thanks to their generosity. Having enough healthy food is vital for children.

“We are really excited to be the pioneers for this project that will impact on thousands of hungry children.”

Our appeal is raising money for food surplus charity The Felix Project, which will set up free market stalls in more than 100 schools where parents are struggling to provide enough food for their children.

Francesco Mazzei, who regularly cooks at Refettorio Felix, a community kitchen that uses food surplus provided by The Felix Project, visited Stanhope Primary to inspire children about cooking.

He explained how to make simple pizzas, pasta and omelettes with the food that was provided by the Felix market stall, which included courgettes, yellow peppers and avocados.

How to cook using food waste with Francesco Mazzei

Richard Gnodde, vice chairman of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. and chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs International, said: “We are proud to support the Felix Project and helping to make sure that children in London don’t go to bed hungry.”

Londoners eating out at top restaurants this month have also been supporting the Help A Hungry Child campaign by adding £1 to their bills.

Almost 400 restaurants, including Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and Chiltern Firehouse, have been adding an optional £1 to diners’ bills. The scheme will continue until the end of December, and will also be supporting StreetSmart, which has been helping homeless and vulnerable people for 20 years.

StreetSmart is on track to raise around £500,000 in total, with at least £200,000 of this expected to be directed towards the Help A Hungry Child appeal. Glenn Pougnet, StreetSmart Director, said: “What an amazing bunch of restaurateurs we have in this city, who enrich our lives with the food and good times they provide. We are indebted to them for their support and for the generosity and goodwill of their diners who have donated to help those in need.”

Marks and Spencer has been supporting the Felix Project by making regular donations of food, and it has now also given a cash donation to our Help A Hungry Child appeal.

Mike Barry, director of Sustainable Business at M&S, said: “Addressing food waste is a key area of focus for M&S and we work hard to ensure that, where there is food surplus, we put it to the best possible use. We are really proud that we have supplied two million meals to those who would otherwise go hungry over the past two years. The Felix Project is a great example of a charity partner that changes the lives of the people it helps.

“We’re delighted to support the Help a Hungry Child Appeal. Providing school children and their families with a decent meal is an important step to building brighter futures for so many young people across the city.”

JustGiving has supported our appeal by providing the official platform through which the money is being raised. Its experts have ensured the technology works safely and securely and have provided advice on the social media campaign.

Neil Bannister, Managing Director of JustGiving, said: “We are so proud to have been able to help the Felix Project and the Evening Standard reach their target of £1million for the Help A Hungry Child Appeal, just in time for Christmas!

“It’s an amazing achievement that will help so many. Don’t forget you can still give to the appeal over Christmas and into the New Year.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in