Beginning last week, club chefs are preparing and packaging up to 900 nutritious and nourishing meals a week in the kitchens at Selhurst Park, following the strictest hygiene and social distancing measures, which are then collected each day and distributed by charity organisation City Harvest.
The food packages are being delivered to four key groups:
- Frontline workers. NHS doctors, nurses and other staff are working relentlessly to save lives in this pandemic to eat whilst on breaks or when home after long shifts.
- Elderly and vulnerable people forced to stay at home. Meals will be delivered to new and existing emergency aid organisations in the area to distribute accordingly.
- Families facing food poverty. Meals are distributed to various local charities who will put food on the tables of hard-pressed families who need it most.
- Homeless people. Many rough sleepers have been put in hotels and hostels around London, with no cooking or food storage facilities. City Harvest will distribute the club’s meals to partners running temporary hostels to ensure guests have regular meals.
The programme is being funded by the club and individual shareholders, covering all costs of purchasing fresh ingredients, preparing nutritious meals and safely packing and labelling them ready for collection and distribution. City Harvest London are managing the distribution, and covering the cost of doing so.
The service will continue for as long as possible and practical during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mike Summers, chief executive of the Palace for Life Foundation, said: “We are delighted that the club has asked us to help deliver this initiative along with City Harvest to provide meals to heroic NHS staff working on the frontline and to the most vulnerable members of our communities. It is in keeping with the club’s mission to be a force for good in South London.”
City Harvest CEO, Laura Winningham said “It’s wonderful to see people coming together to help their communities. We couldn’t be happier to work with Crystal Palace FC and the Palace for Life Foundation to ensure more meals are made available to those in such great need. We have a wide outreach in South London, this partnership makes a huge impact.”