Five thousand vulnerable people across London have benefitted from nutritionally balanced meals thanks to the co-ordinated efforts of Bidvest Foodservice, 500 staff from media agency MEC, Food@Work, Wonder, and FareShare.
Over 25,000 dishes were prepared at the MEC ‘Knead & Feed’ charity meal donation event held at Allianz Park on 20th August 2015. These have been distributed among FareShare’s London network of Community Food Members (CFMs). These include homeless shelters, women’s refuge centres, luncheon clubs for the elderly, and children’s breakfast clubs.
The giant cooking project was designed by Food@Work and Wonder for their client, MEC. It was devised to provide free food to CFMs and also give employees and volunteers at the CFMs a break from cooking and kitchen duties, enabling them to spend more quality time with the people that they help.
Bidvest Foodservice was principal food supplier for the event. Business manager Mike Harris and field sales manager at Bidvest Foodservice’s High Wycombe depot Tom Emsley from the foodservice provider also provided support before and after the event. Shaun Hill from the company’s own chef team led two of the teams of cooks on the day.
Food@Work, which specialises in team building through cooking, designed the event with cultural consultancy Wonder, and co-ordinated the 500 employees from MEC on the day.
Under the supervision of 24 professional chefs, 34 teams of 15 people prepared and cooked five dishes. An impressive 25,000 portions of food were produced to feed disadvantaged people living in London.
The menu included beef lasagne, Moroccan tagine, butternut, leek and goats cheese tarts, garlic and rosemary focaccia, and apple and berry crumble. The food was then frozen for FareShare to store and distribute to the CFM’s.
Shaun Hill said: “Leading part of a 500 strong team to produce over 25,000 portions in one day is a first for me – even with 30 years’ experience in foodservice!
“I was proud to be part of this initiative that helps vulnerable people and it was a great achievement for all the MEC staff to produce the quantity of food they did. I’ve been amazed by the passion and dedication of everyone who took part, all for such a fantastic cause.”
Robinne Collie, founder of Food@Work, said: “This is the first time we have organised an event of this scale, producing 25,000 portions of food. The Bidvest Foodservice team exceeded our expectations on everything from supplying high quality food for our cooks to work with to advice, support and fast response times and co-ordinating logistics with FareShare.
“Events like Knead & Feed recognise the important role that FareShare’s network of partners play in helping those less fortunate than ourselves. The day was a huge success and we plan to build on this looking ahead.”