Contributions from individual readers of the Evening Standard amounting collectively to an extraordinary £1 million — as well as a £370,000 donation from investment bank Morgan Stanley, our biggest corporate donor so far — pushed our Food For London Now appeal to £6.5 million today.
It means that after just 10 weeks we are two-thirds of the way towards fulfilling our pledge of raising £10 million for our appeal partner, The Felix Project, to tackle escalating food poverty in London over the next three years.
The scale of deprivation was laid bare this week with The Trussell Trust, the UK’s biggest foodbank network, reporting an 89 per cent rise in demand for food parcels in April compared with the same period last year.
Figures from the Independent Food Aid Network (IFAN) show a 175 per cent rise, with both charities reporting this their “busiest period ever”.
Furthermore, a survey by the giving platform Neighbourly of 900 charities and community groups providing food to the vulnerable found that 70 per cent expect the situation to get even worse in the next six to 12 months.
Evening Standard proprietor Evgeny Lebedev paid special tribute to the almost 6,000 ordinary individuals who have dug deep to contribute to our appeal. He said: “Time and time again Londoners have shown that they are capable of immense generosity and community spirit in this period of crisis.
“To all those that donated, bought and bid — I salute you.” Morgan Stanley said the bank and its employees in London had made the donation as part of their global Covid-19 response.
Clare Woodman, head of Morgan Stanley EMEA, said: “The Felix Project plays a vital role in distributing food to people in need, especially those severely impacted by the pandemic. I am proud our employees in London are supporting them as part of our Covid-19 Hunger Relief Campaign.”
Another substantial donor was Partners Capital investment group, which donated £95,287.John Collis, head of Partners Capital, Europe, said they “selected The Felix Project as one of our charities to support during this difficult period as it is one of the most impactful charities in London today”.
Our appeal was also boosted by the silent auction, in partnership with Quintessentially Foundation, which closed this week with 135 bids placed for 36 lots and raising almost £40,000.