The Palace Kitchen has this week prepared its 5,000th meal since it reopened at the start of December, providing nutritious food for people in need across south London.
The Crystal Palace Football Club and Palace for Life Foundation project had originally planned to reach that milestone by Christmas, but chefs at Selhurst Park have been able to increase their output, thanks to the generous support of the Palace fanbase and an additional corporate donor.
The club committed to covering the cost of ingredients, staff and packaging throughout December, but a fundraising page to support the initiative has now raised almost £10,000 to help expand the project’s reach even further.
In addition, Collinson Construction made a substantial donation to the project, following its appointment as the approved contractor for the build of the indoor dome facility at the club’s Category 1 Academy.
Combined, these generous donations mean that the project will be extended into the new year.
Steve Parish, chairman of CPFC said: “We would also like to thank Collinson for their generous donation to our Palace Kitchen project, which will help us maximise our support for our community at what is a very difficult time for many people. I’d also like to thank our magnificent supporters, who have yet again contributed enormously to this important community initiative.”
Robert Duxbury, managing director of Collinson Construction, commented: “We have a long and proud tradition of supporting our communities, both on our own doorstep in the North West, and in the areas around the UK where our construction projects take us. When we heard about the Palace Kitchen project and the difference it makes to people we were blown away. It inspired us to make our own donation which will contribute towards the running costs of this valuable campaign.”
The meals are being distributed by valued project partners City Harvest and Croydon Voluntary Action to vulnerable families and individuals, such as those experiencing homelessness, the elderly and those living in emergency shelters.
Mrs Key, who has been receiving the meals in Croydon, said: “The food has helped my family so much. I’m a single mum with six children with health issues so it’s helped my family immensely at this very difficult time.”
Through The Palace Kitchen, young people based at Selhurst Park who are being supported by Palace for Life Foundation to find employment have also been able to access the meals.
Josh, 19, said: “We feel very lucky to have these meals cooked for us. If we didn’t have this, we’d be eating junk food that would cost us money each day.”