A volunteer-led organisation which for the past two months has been feeding NHS staff on the front line, is calling for corporate sponsorship from business so they can keep delivering meals and expand their operation to more food banks and homeless shelters.
Since its launch on March 30, Furloughed Foodies has raised over £25,000 and delivered more than 12,000 meals to 15 hospitals and two food banks.
Food is always fresh, healthy and requires little to no preparation by the receiver, something NHS workers had specifically asked for.
Each dish costs a maximum of £1.50, including packaging and delivery. They are delivered to pre-arranged contacts at each hospital or food bank to ensure food safety and to reduce the potential for any waste.
Building on the foundations the team has established, Furloughed Foodies plans to continue for as long as their help is needed. So they have increased their funding target to £75,000. This will enable the 400 volunteers to cook and deliver at least 50,000 more meals over the next three months.
The group are now calling for corporate sponsorship to support their mission by offering a range of bespoke packages, all of which can be tailored to allow them to businesses to work with the volunteers in the way they want to.
Since introducing the options last week, the organisation has already received donations from the Cobham Branch of NFU Mutual, The Skinners’ Company, and The Worshipful Company of Cooks, amongst others.
They differ from other similar organisations because of their use of furloughed volunteers to cook and deliver the meals. This means the business model is more sustainable in the long-term to similar groups which rely solely on the hospitality industry to prepare food.
The team is confident that, even with the eventual return to work for many of their volunteers, the sponsorship will enable them to continue and even expand its operation.
Co-founder Floris Ten Nijenhuis, 27, said: “The feedback we’ve received so far has been incredible, yet as demand shifts, we must too. I can only imagine how beneficial our services could be to other sectors and vulnerable groups that have been drastically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Floris, an Oxford graduate who had spent three years with Barclays in Investment Banking, had quit his job with a travel-tech start-up to travel around Central America, but abandoned his plans as Covid-19 struck and joined Chloe Hall, 26, from Hampshire who had herself been furloughed from her job as a marketing manager.
Chloe said: “While individual donations are fantastic, for us to continue to support London’s most in need, larger donations are going to be vital. By calling on business we hope that they will understand the reasons behind our cause, see the passion and drive we have to do all we can and want to support and keep Furloughed Foodies operating”
For donations, find details here