City Harvest sees massive rise in food donations following restaurant closures

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

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Food redistribution charity City Harvest has launched a crowdfund to help maintain deliveries following a huge influx of donations from restaurants and caterers as a result of the Coronavirus crisis.

The London-based charity, which rescues and redistributes surplus food to vulnerable groups including NHS staff working on the front line, has started a GoFundMe​ campaign to pay for the vans being used to make its deliveries.

It is aiming to raise £50,000, which it says would be enough to keep all of its vans on the road for the next five weeks.

City Harvest has seen a significant influx in food donations as a result of the Coronavirus crisis, with many of London’s restaurants donating surplus stock to the charity after having to close in line with Government orders. 

The charity says it would usually receive 35 tonnes a week, but since 17 March has been getting 20 tonnes of food a day.

This has included more than a tonne of chicken from Nandos; prime steaks from Hawksmoor; burgers from Lidgate; fresh noodles from Bone Daddies; whole salmon from Wasabi; and 500 loaves of bread from Gail’s. 

As a result of the rise in donations, the number of City Harvest deliveries has doubled to more than 140 van loads per week.

The number of volunteers has also risen, with laid off and furloughed hospitality workers among those giving their time to help stack the food parcels for delivery.

City Harvest calculates that it has saved 110 tonnes of food and helped to create 255,000 meals in the last week alone. However, it still needs donations, volunteers and food. To find out more, click here​.

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