Global banking group Citi has been the first bank to contribute towards The Felix Project, donating a generous £200,000.
The Felix Project was founded by Evening Standard Chairman Justin Byam Shaw and his wife, Jane, following the death of their 14-year old son in 2014. It aims to help to alleviate hunger and food waste in the capital. The project collects fresh produce and delivers it, without cost, to various charities across London. Some of the suppliers involved include Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Daylesford and Costco. Around 23 charities are currently being provided with groceries.
Citi’s UK boss, James Bardrick, spoke to the newspaper about their involvement with the cause. He commented, “Food poverty and food waste are serious issues facing London, with negative impacts on the health and wellbeing of residents as well as on the environment.”
Justin Byam Shaw and his wife have also pledged to match any donation to the foundation up the value of £750,000.
Donations from Citigroup have thus far totalled £500,000, which highlights their continual commitment to helping to eradicate food waste and hunger. The Evening Standard announced yesterday the generous donation, and revealed how they are planning to ensure the funds are maximised. The organisation aims to divide the sum, and spend the respective amounts to develop different areas within the foundation.
The first £100,000 is to be used to employ up to five deputy managers, who will be paid the current London Living Wage (£9.40). The Felix Project aims to recruit young Londoners struggling to find employment or those from low-income backgrounds for the role. The second half of the funds are to be used for staff and volunteer training purposes, to ensure staff are equipped to help run the continually expanding campaign.
France became the first country to introduce legislation to ban supermarkets from disposing of unsold groceries. Instead, under the law, supermarkets are now required to donate unused food produce to charities. If they fail to do so, they are subject to Government fines of up to €75,000.
The initiative has increasingly picked up momentum across Europe, with Italy also following suit. Similarly, earlier in July, The Global Green Health Forum in Copenhagen approved the first global food loss and waste standard. This is a sure signal that the international community are continuing to make great strides on combatting the issue.