Furloughed Foodies, a voluntary organisation set up less than a month ago, to help feed the NHS frontline staff in London with healthy home made meals has made the decision to diversify their efforts and extend their services to both homeless shelters and food banks.
From launching on March 30th, the project has already been able to raise an initial £10,000, but for the project to continue and support this expanded group of Londoners the team have now set a target of raising £25,000 in the hope this will allow them to continue to cook and deliver meals for the coming months.
A collection of volunteers, most with no formal cooking training, the focus of the project is in delivering healthy and delicious lunches and dinners to fuel people through this crisis. The food is cooked in home kitchens and delivered to a designated contact in each location. With each meal capped at £1.50 per portion, made from fresh ingredients, and ready to be eaten quickly.
After their initial success, and feedback, while the foodies will continue to deliver an average of over 2100 meals per week across 15 hospitals as a group they have realised that while supporting our front line NHS staff through this period is essential more people than ever across our capital are struggling with food provisions or the ability to source healthy, nutritious meals.
On being approached by some of these organisations, having listened to the difficult experiences they are having and thanks to an influx of volunteers they soon realised this was another group of people the Furloughed Foodies were able to support.
As a concept Furloughed Foodies started when Floris Ten Nijenhuis’ South America travel plans were cut short because of the global pandemic. He started to cook alone for hospitals before calling on recently furloughed marketer Chloe Hall to help spread the message. Both were determined to make the best of the situation and contribute positively to the battle against COVID-19.
Having spoken to friends who were doctors on the frontline they soon established that while deliveries of takeaways and raw produce were all incredibly helpful, provisions of more ‘normal’ balanced food, which healthcare professionals would be happy to eat day in day out, was limited. Add to this the fact that those working in COVID-19 wards were often unable to visit the hospital canteens due to infection control, or that these were limited by opening hours, the pair identified an issue they believed they could offer a solution to and Furloughed Foodies was born.
Floris, initial founder, comments:
“We started this initiative to try to make a difference. Helping both NHS teams and those in need across London with healthy home cooked food allows us to do this.
“We are lucky to have had a huge number of volunteers who have signed up, which has allowed us to modify our plans, listen to where our support is needed and take on more to feed more people.”
“The feedback we have received so far from NHS staff has been incredible, and what really gets us going on our group chat is the photos of smiling front line workers but we want to ensure no one goes hungry through this period if we can help it.
“So, we really want to call on the public for more donations so that we can support both our NHS heroes and our capitals more vulnerable until the end of this struggle!”