Charities feeding London’s hungry worried 2024 will be a very tough year

24 January 2024

  • 89% of community organisations supported by The Felix Project said they expected to see an increased demand for their food services.
  • 83% said they are worried about meeting demand for food.
  • 56% are concerned they may have to reduce the frequency of their services.
  • The Felix Project impact in 2023 included delivering 32M meals and rescuing over 13 thousand tonnes of food.

New research by London’s largest food redistribution charity has found almost 9 in 10 support services are concerned about increasing demand in 2024.

In a survey, The Felix Project found 89% of the community organisations they support said they were expecting to see an increase in demand, of which 58% said it will be a significant rise.

In 2023 The Felix Project rescued and redistributed the equivalent of 32 million meals, its highest yet. However, 83% of charities supplied with those meals said they are concerned about meeting demand for food, with 32% extremely worried. In addition, over half (56%) said they are concerned they may have to reduce the frequency of their services.

The results come from a survey sent to all the organisations The Felix Project supplies. In total in 624 [1] responded to the questions. Charlotte Hill OBE, CEO of the Felix Project said:

“These results really demonstrate the immense amount of pressure being felt by so many of those charities working on the frontline to feed people facing food insecurity and hunger. It’s clear, too, that many people in London are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis. 170,000 [2] working people in London had to turn to a food support service for the first-time last year to ensure they could feed their children. Each week we send food to over 1,000 organisations and all of them want more food. To have so many respond to our survey and say they worried about an increase in demand shows how much The Felix Project has to do this year.”

The Felix Project was started in 2016 and since then has grown year on year. In 2023 the charity rescued 13,394 tonnes of good food from going to waste from 322 different suppliers. It was responsible for redistributing 8% of all surplus food in the UK. 15,000 volunteers gave over 150,000 hours to help sort and deliver the food to 1,119 community organisations across every London borough. In addition, 50% of the food ended going to the top fifth most deprived areas of London.

One of the many charities to get deliveries is Lewisham Donation Hub, they receive around 1,100kg’s of food every month. The service opens every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and provides a range of support to local residents. Laurence Smith is the founder and says:

“Quite simply, without The Felix Project we would not be able to do what we do. The food not only helps us to feed around 1,000 people every week, it also enables us to do so much more. The steadfast supply of surplus food means we can save money and divert the majority of our spending to our wider services, such as clothing and household products. These are things we would not be able to fund from other sources, making Felix a truly essential part of our support.”

Find out more about The Felix Project’s work to fight food waste and hunger in its 2023 Impact report.

[1] Survey carried out by The Felix Project in Oct 2023

[2] Results from a Censuswide survey by The Felix Project of 2,006 working parents in London – 14% said they had to use a food service for help for the first time - 14% = 0.14 x 1,235,000 (no of working parents in London) = 172,900