The Palace Kitchen project is being extended into February so that thousands of local people in need can continue to receive healthy and nutritious food.
Since being launched last year, Palace Kitchen has delivered more than 27,000 meals, providing a lifeline to vulnerable individuals and families, including the elderly, those in emergency housing and the homeless.
Club chefs prepare around 350 meals a day, four days a week, which are distributed by project partner City Harvest.
The Palace Kitchen was set up with funding from the club and individual shareholders to cover the costs of purchasing fresh ingredients, preparing nutritious meals and safely packing and labelling them ready for collection and distribution.
More than £10,000 has since been raised through the generosity of Palace fans, who have donated through a JustGiving page (https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/palacekitchen) which continues to help fund this amazing project.
Funds have also been raised by supporters who have taken part in the virtual Palace for Life Super Draw.
Meals from the Palace Kitchen have been distributed to 10 local charities and organisations identified by Croydon Council, including Look Ahead, which supports rough sleepers; Mala, a network of four south London foodbanks giving out food parcels; Solace Women’s Aid, a refuge for woman and children escaping violence and abuse; Burgess Park House, a hostel for homeless veterans; and the Family Centre in New Addington and Legacy Youth Zone in North Croydon, which support local families in poverty.
Sarah, a local mother, was one of Palace Kitchen’s earliest recipients last spring, having lost her job at the start of lockdown whilst pregnant and with a two-year-old daughter at home.
She said: “The food we get is lovely. I’m pregnant and I don’t have the energy to cook for the family, so the meals are amazing and they are delicious and healthy too. To know that Crystal Palace are providing for us is so nice and it’s such a great help for my family.”
Palace for Life Foundation chief executive Mike Summers said: “We are delighted to be able to keep the Palace Kitchen open throughout February, helping thousands of local people who rely on us for healthy, nutritious meals which they would not otherwise be able to enjoy.
“We are grateful to the club for the funding, which enabled us to set up the project, and to the continuing generosity of Palace fans, which has allowed us to continue running it.
“We would also like to thank our partners City Harvest, who pick up the meals each day from Selhurst Park and distribute them to local voluntary organisations on the front line.”