At the start of the pandemic there were huge concerns about people not being able to feed themselves properly. According to a 2020 survey by YouGov, eight million people in Britain were struggling and three million had gone hungry since the lockdown began.
The Independent and Evening Standard stepped up to tackle this huge problem. Through donations to the Evening Standard’s Food for London Now and The Independent’s Help the Hungry campaigns, the two news brands set about funding the supply of food to children, the underprivileged, the NHS and vulnerable in London, delivered through The Felix Project.
In the first 12 days of the joint campaign, the news brands raised more than £1 million through donations from companies, foundations, philanthropists and readers. A £50,000 donation was made by Citibank and £25,000 was given by Lush cosmetics founders Mark and Mo Constantine.
By April 2020, the Evening Standard had raised £1.5 million. In July, the news brand partnered with Sotheby’s to hold an auction of artworks by leading artists including Ai Weiwei, Tracey Emin and Yinka Shonibare to boost the campaign.
By December 2020, it had delivered 20 million meals and beamed messages of thanks to Londoners on St Paul’s Cathedral and at Piccadilly Circus using Peter Blake’s specially commissioned artwork.
Twelve days ago I wrote to ask for your help in the face of the greatest challenge of our collective lifetime — and you responded magnificently.Evgeny Lebedev, The Independent and Evening Standard proprietor said at the start of the campaign
The £1 million you have donated will help us help The Felix Project feed NHS workers, care workers, the poor and the vulnerable. Thank you London.