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Founder of Felix Project charity Justin Byam Shaw awarded OBE in King’s honours list

Charity recognised for its work redistributing fresh surplus food to 400,000 Londoners each week

Holly Bancroft
Saturday 31 December 2022 19:27 GMT
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Justin Byam Shaw has been recognised in the King’s new year honours list
Justin Byam Shaw has been recognised in the King’s new year honours list (Shutterstock)

Justin Byam Shaw, the founder of food poverty charity The Felix Project, has been awarded an OBE in the King’s new year honours list for his services to the London community.

The charity redistributes fresh surplus food from supermarkets and restaurants to local charities tackling food poverty. It started with two food distribution vans in 2016 and has grown to be the biggest charity of its kind in London, supplying food for tens of millions of meals each year.

Mr Byam Shaw, who is a shareholder in The Independent, set up The Felix Project in memory of his son, who passed away suddenly from meningitis at the age of 14.

He said: “I know it is customary to say this sort of thing, but the truth is that this honour reflects the work of our staff and 1,500 volunteers who feed 400,000 Londoners in need every week.”

In 2021, the charity supplied the equivalent of 30 million meals to more than 1,000 frontline charities and food hubs helping those in the capital who were affected by the Covid crisis.

It was earmarked to be a beneficiary of The Independent’s On The Breadline Christmas appeal, and money pledged by the King to the campaign will be used to help The Felix Project supply fridges and freezers to hundreds of food charities in London.

The Independent and its sister title The Evening Standard previously partnered with The Felix Project for our Help the Hungry appeal, which raised more than £10m to feed the nation’s poorest and most vulnerable people during the pandemic.

The Felix Project supplied the equivalent of 30 million meals in 2021 (AP)

The Felix Project was able to quadruple its deliveries to ensure that thousands of low-income families, along with elderly people and those who were shielding, were provided with food.

It also opened a social kitchen in Tower Hamlets, an area with one of the highest deprivation levels in the UK, to provide more than 1.5 million hot meals each year for those in need.

Six-year-old Summer loads up on fruit and vegetables for the school holidays thanks to The Felix Project (Hazel Community Primary School)

The charity has reported a huge surge in demand as the cost of living crisis continues, and now has a significant waiting list of organisations that have requested food.

It is the second time the charity’s work has been recognised. Mr Byam Shaw’s wife, Jane, was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list in June 2022.

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