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A charity that makes good use of food that would otherwise be thrown away is seeking additional volunteers at its base in Enfield.  The Felix Project needs more people to act as van drivers, co-drivers and warehouse assistants who can spare a few hours one morning or afternoon or perhaps one or two days a week.

Do you have time to spare?  Are you a business with surplus food?

felix project logoThe Felix Project is aiming to substantially increase food collection and distribution from its Enfield depot to match the two tons that is collected and distributed each day from its West London centre.

We need more daytime volunteers (Mondays to Saturdays).
Click here for more information and to register for a volunteer induction event.

Do you work for a supermarket, wholesaler or retailer looking to reduce your surplus food and make a contribution to the community?
Click here to find out more and get in touch.

The Felix Project's work addresses two, quite frankly, scandalous aspects of London life:  the huge amount of perfectly edible food thrown away every day by shops, restaurants and distributors; and the growing prevalence of hunger and malnutrition in the capital.  It does this by collecting the unsaleable but perfectly safe food, sorting it in its depots and then distributing it to charities, community kitchens, food banks and even schools.  All this for free.

Food worth more than £10.000 a week

The Felix Project was launched in 2016 and opened its second depot, near the Great Cambridge Road, six months ago.  The Enfield depot is already supplying food to 26 charities and some schools. Depot co-ordinator Damien Conrad is proud of the progress made:

"Our North London depot opened in November, and we are steadily increasing the number of suppliers who give us their surplus food, which is used by local charities for over 2,000 meals a week. Opening the depot was made possible by hundreds of supporters donating to our crowdfunding campaign. Day-to-day collections of food from suppliers and free delivery to charities are down to the work of our wonderful volunteer drivers, co-drivers and warehouse assistants. The food we redistribute is worth over £10,000 a week!"

160,000 thousand cans of tomatoes

Damien explains where the depot gets its food from:  "Supermarkets, wholesalers and food brands in north London save surplus food for us to collect regularly.  And we get some amazing one-off donations too - for instance, 15 pallets of cereals and flour and a consignment of 160,000 cans of cherry tomatoes!"

Children who go to school hungry

 "We've also embarked on a project to help the tens of thousands of children who go to school hungry each day.  Four north London primary schools now receive regular deliveries of produce, which is made available to pupils to take home at the end of the day. The Schools Programme was launched following the Evening Standard Christmas Appeal. Our target is to deliver food to 55 schools by the end of the year, which will keep us on track for 120 by the end of 2019."

felix food bags for schoolsPutting together a consignment of food bags for schools at the Felix Project's Enfield depot

"Gleaning" in the Garden of England

As well as their regular day-to-day sources, the Felix volunteers are occasionally able to take advantage of the UK's "gleaning network", which sends volunteers into the fields to pick crops that it would not be economical to harvest commercially.  This can happen when unexpected weather occurs or when there is a glut of a particular crop.  Damien particularly enjoyed an outing to the "Garden of England".

felix volunteers gleaning in kentNorth London Felix Project volunteers on a working day out in deepest Kent

"For a few weeks we'd been hearing rumours of a possible treasure trove of food being made available at a farm in deepest Kent. Then, on Wednesday, it was confirmed… it was on!  All systems go, social networks were set ablaze with shouts out for volunteer pickers, pluckers and anyone with green fingers and a desire to do some good, to save some valuable produce and to share it to those most in need. And so we ended up winding down country lanes past quaint villages, blossoming fruit trees and naked hop poles looming like gallows against the brooding sky, on our way to a farm at England's most easterly extremes."

Damien and his friends set to work sorting and bagging potatoes that were either to small or too large to sell and harvesting a field of spring greens. There was also a field of purple sprouting broccoli that had bolted and flowered because of the premature warm weather and couldn't be sold - however, the rescuers had to leave the broccoli behind. They returned to Enfield with more than a ton of vegetables to store in the chiller for later distribution. "One of the people who came along with us was Sharon from Only Connect. They work on reducing reoffending and Sharon runs a cooking and nutrition project for them - using our ingredients, of course."

Damien sums up his day in the countryside. "The day highlighted the plight of our farmers and the scandalous waste of good food, but also showed what a force for good the Felix project and the gleaning network really are and that when like-minded people work together they really can make a difference."

Links

The Felix Project

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