LONDON, United Kingdom — A campaign spearheaded by healthy fast-food chain Leon has raised over 1 million pounds to help feed National Health Service (NHS) workers in Britain.
‘FeedNHS’, launched last month by actors Damian Lewis, Matt Lucas and Helen McCrory, aims to send those working on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic, one healthy meal per day. The initiative, which started in partnership with Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and UCLH Healthcare NHS Trust is already being rolled out across the country.
“Wow, we’ve reached £1 million. Thank you to the 24,000 people who have been so generous as to help us get there,” wrote Lewis on the campaign’s official page, during the Easter weekend.
“All your money turns into meals and we served 35,000 of them last week to 11 London hospitals. Next week we’ll serve 45,000 more and go to Birmingham & Manchester. Let’s keep going as there is so much more we can do for our NHS,” he added.
Backed by a host of other chains, including Tossed, Wasabi and Abokado, the campaign is just one of many steps Leon has taken in response to the spread of coronavirus.
Following the closure of its restaurants, the chain also made the decision to launch an online delivery service offering grocery boxes and restaurant-quality ready meals — the profits of which will also be donated to FeedNHS.
Speaking about the service, in an email to customers, Leon co-founder John Vincent explained:
“We created Feed Britain with three principal aims. We wanted to help get food to people who needed it; anyone who couldn’t face the queues outside supermarket doors or didn’t feel comfortable venturing outside. We wanted to support the hospitality industry, finding a new avenue for restaurant suppliers and keeping their businesses from collapse. And we wanted to help the NHS, which is why all of the profits that Feed Britain makes during the COVID-19 crisis will be donated to FeedNHS; our initiative to get hot, healthy meals to NHS critical care workers.”
He also told the BBC: “A lot of people in the industry are just giving up and shutting up shop. But we think this way we can keep 60% of our stores open and keep food production going.”
Having already converted around 10 of its 75 UK takeaway outlets to shops where customers can buy groceries and ready meals, the brand hopes to convert further sites over the coming weeks, as well as expand its delivery platform beyond London.
It also plans to sell food from other restaurants and suppliers, in a bid to become ‘the Ocado of the restaurant industry’.