Borough Market is spearheading a national campaign to provide free fruit and vegetables to frontline workers battling COVID-19.
'Feed the Frontline' has initially been funded by private businesses for the month of April and aims to run throughout the peak of the COVID-19 crisis. The initiative launches with the provision of regular deliveries of fruit and vegetables to frontline workers at three NHS hospitals in London.
Borough Market is now calling for more companies to fund the expansion across the nation with the help of the UK's network of food markets and fruit and vegetable wholesalers. The aim is to feed as many frontline staff as possible throughout the pandemic. Bradford St James's Wholesale Market is already following suit by delivering 1,000 fruit and vegetable bags to Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust each week, with more hospitals in Leeds and Bradford to follow.
Borough Market has initially teamed up with three hospitals in Lambeth and Southwark: St Thomas', King's College Hospital and The Maudsley.
4,000 bags of seasonal, high quality fruit and vegetables are being packed and delivered by Borough Market trader Turnips each week. Once at the hospitals, the bags will be distributed to frontline staff by NHS volunteers. The food is accompanied by recipe cards from Borough Market chefs to inspire easy, healthy home cooking of fantastic food.
"With the UK in lockdown, we owe an enormous debt to the fantastic people of the NHS and other frontline workers battling COVID-19," said Darren Henaghan, managing director of Borough Market.
"They are working around the clock to save lives, care for the sick and control the spread of coronavirus. With London at the heart of the UK epidemic we want to play our part in the national effort against COVID-19 by caring for the carers – giving them fresh, high quality food to help them stay healthy and feed themselves and their families."
"We're asking more companies to come on board with Feed the Frontline to fund the expansion to more hospitals. Borough Market's position as a charitable trust and a home to high quality wholesale traders means that food can be sourced cost-effectively and at sufficient volumes to make a real difference to the hospitals supported by the campaign.
"This will mean that the people working tirelessly to look after the nation don't have to spend time queuing at supermarkets and can spend precious time away from work with their families and housemates."
Visit feedthefrontline.uk for more information about the campaign and how to get involved.
For the latest local news and events direct to your inbox every Monday, you need our weekly email newsletter SE1 Direct.
7,000+ locals read it every week. Can you afford to miss out?
Read the latest issue before signing up