Celebrity lunches served up at Islington summer holiday project

Children attending a summer holiday project in Islington were treated to a lunchtime feast prepared by celebrity chefs Melissa Hemsley and Melek Erdal with a little help from Walking Dead actor David Morrissey.

The event was held at The Arc Centre as part of our partnership with Islington Council to deliver nutritious lunches to children and young people in adventure playgrounds, as part of the council’s Lunch Bunch programme.

Lunch used fresh food that can't be sold

Local resident Sue Richards, chair of the trustees of St Peter’s Children and Young People’s Activities Group Summer 2019 Project said: “We have lots planned over the summer, for the children to have fun, learn new skills and have a good meal in the middle of the day. The children loved the lunch Melissa prepared and it was a real education for them about how to avoid wasting good food.

“Gill, a Felix volunteer taught them about best before dates and showed them food that looked perfect and food that looked less than perfect but was just as tasty. The children were processing all of this information and that the food they had enjoyed today was food that supermarkets can’t sell. It’s a real education that The Felix Project delivered today."

Melissa Hemsley added: “They were telling each other ‘Let’s not waste that, that will be delicious tomorrow’ or ‘I’d eat that cold’. They really saw the care we put into the food, and that it tastes really good too.”

Fabio Bonomo, Senior Waste Prevention Officer at North London Waste Authority said: “It was great to hear the children talking about the importance of using food properly to stop food waste, particularly when they offered their ideas around food storage.”

This summer, the Felix Project will deliver free food to 63 holiday programmes across the capital.

Anne Elkins, Schools Programme Manager at The Felix Project said: “Holiday​ ​programmes provide spaces for children to play, learn new skills and share meals. Good food and exercise are essential for health and help improve social inclusion and well-being too. For families ​facing the challenge of ​​finding money to cater another meal while children are off school for six weeks, they​ can also make the difference between ​having​ healthy food ​to eat ​and skipping meals.”

Councillor Kaya Comer-Schwartz, Islington Council’s Executive Member for Children, Young People and Families said: “We are proud of our Lunch Bunch programme which provides young people aged 3-19 the chance to enjoy a whole range of free activities throughout the summer holidays in our adventure playgrounds, libraries and other venues, all with a free delicious and healthy lunch.”

Calling new volunteers to help deliver food

The Felix Project’s invaluable work delivering free food to holiday programmes wouldn’t happen without the commitment and passion of incredible volunteers. As the number of holiday programmes, primary schools and charities deliver to continues to grow, there is a greater need for more volunteers to help. There are opportunities for volunteer drivers, co-drivers, warehouse assistants, walkers and cyclists to collect, sort and deliver food. Volunteering at The Felix Project is fun, rewarding, flexible ​- ​and it is simple to get involved.

Register to volunteer today, and we’ll be in touch

Islington Council provides a huge summer activities programme, that includes adventure playgrounds, interactive exhibitions, fun library sessions and more. Lunch Bunch sessions include a free and healthy lunch alongside fun play activities.

St Peter’s Children and Young People's Activities Group Summer 2019 Project A new group of people living in the St Peter's Ward of Islington want to make sure that every child in the area has a chance to do fun and exciting things over the summer. Their first summer project is for children aged 9 - 10 to do cooking, gardening, sport, life-saving lessons, art and music.

North London Waste Authority (NLWA) is a waste disposal authority for Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Waltham Forest. Preventing waste is a key priority for NLWA – it is better for the environment, reduces society’s consumption of resources and saves on the costs of waste disposal. NLWA in partnership with the seven north London boroughs took forward a major waste prevention programme of activity to encourage residents to waste less, and to assist them in behaviour changes to achieve this aim. Reducing the amount of food waste produced in the area is a focal area of the programme; since 2012 NLWA has been running face-to-face outreach activity across north London, which includes information stalls, presentations and workshops. NLWA provide north London residents with practical tips and advice on how to reduce their food waste, help the environment and save money on food purchases.