Huge new charity kitchen aims to produce 100,000 meals east London people this summer

Felix's Kitchen Launch at their new premises with volunteers Ledley King, Melissa Hemsley and childr

Felix's Kitchen Launch at their new premises with volunteers like former Tottenham football player Ledley King, food writer and chef Melissa Hemsley and children from the local community. - Credit: Nigel Howard

A new east London kitchen will be turning surplus food into nutritious meals to families, elderly, isolated and homeless people in need across Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Newham. 

Felix's Kitchen in Poplar opened on the first day of the summer holidays to combat holiday hunger. 

At full capacity the facility can produce 6,000 meals a day and the charity aims to produce 100,000 meals to feed local families and children across the summer holidays this year. 

The project's head of community engagement, Rachel Ledwith MBE said:“Since 2016 the Felix Project has been rescuing good, fresh surplus food from the food industry, sorting it at our warehouses and delivering it to almost 1,000 front-line charities, primary schools and holiday programmes in London."

Felix's Kitchen Launch at their new premises with volunteers Ledley King, Melissa Hemsley and childr

Felix's Kitchen Launch at their new premises in Poplar with volunteers Marcus Roberts and Ledley King. - Credit: Nigel Howard

The project already has warehouses in Park Royal, Enfield and Deptford and its new kitchen will support people in need in east London which has some of the highest rates of child poverty in the London. 

Proportion of children living in poverty (2018/19) before and after housing costs

Proportion of children living in poverty (2018/19) before and after housing costs. The boroughs with the highest levels of child poverty are Tower Hamlets, Newham, Barking and Dagenham, Hackney and Waltham Forest. - Credit: Trust for London


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According to Trust for London, in 2018/19 Tower Hamlets had the highest proportion of children living in poverty after housing costs (55 per cent). The top five boroughs for child poverty during that period were all in east London and include Hackney and Newham.

Food writer and self-taught chef Melissa Hemsley volunteers at Felix's new kitchen in east London. 

Food writer and self-taught chef Melissa Hemsley volunteers at Felix's new kitchen in east London. - Credit: Nigel Howard

Rachel added: “The approaching school holidays are a crucial time for families and we expect need will only increase in the Autumn when potential benefit cuts come into play and furlough ends."

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Despite the challenges of lockdowns, Felix delivered 21.1 million meals across London in 2020. Its target for this year is 38 million meals. 

Felix's Kitchen Head Leon Aarts sharing meals with local families.

Felix's Kitchen Head Leon Aarts sharing meals with local families. - Credit: Nigel Howard

The Felix Project's new kitchen will be delivering meals to local charities in Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Newham. 

The Felix Project's new kitchen will be delivering meals to local charities in Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Newham. - Credit: Nigel Howard

The kitchen will provide meals to charities like Hackney-based Children With Voices, an organisation which set up food banks during the pandemic. 

Founder Michelle Dornelly said: “We couldn’t do what we do without the Felix Project, who have supported us for the last four years.  The staff and volunteers are amazing and the food we get from the Felix Project is a lifeline for so many parents. It enables us to feed the community within our five food hubs with a variety of good quality and healthy food."

To learn more or volunteer visit www.thefelixproject.org


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