England and Chelsea footballer Reece James will be donating his UEFA Euro 2020 match day England shirt from last week’s Croatia fixture, to help encourage donations to London-based food charity The Felix Project as they feed vulnerable East London school children this summer.
The Felix Project’s new venture ‘Felix’s Kitchen’ launches this summer in Tower Hamlets, in association with The Evening Standard. Felix’s Kitchen will cook surplus food to make delicious ‘ready meals’ for families struggling over the summer holidays. The meals will be delivered by Felix volunteers to local children’s charities and holiday programmes in the boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Newham – where child poverty rates are some of the highest in Europe.
All donations made this week on Reece’s fundraising page will automatically go into the draw to win the England defender’s match day shirt.
Reece, who has supported the charity for the last two years, including volunteering at their depots across London during lockdown, has said: “Whilst many of us are looking forward to summer holidays, we must remember that there are a number of children who will be not so happy for schools to be closed. Felix’s Kitchen will make fresh meals from donated surplus food for holiday clubs and other places that are providing meals for hungry children during the long summer holidays.”
Reece added: “I’m so proud and excited to be part of the England squad at this summer’s Euros, but whilst I’m at camp, I wanted to help encourage fans to raise money for the charity I feel so passionately about.”
Scheduled to open in July, the kitchen will be set over 4,400 sq ft, operating six days a week, 50 weeks a year, aiming to deliver 100,000 meals by September. 57% of children in Tower Hamlets live in poverty. Felix’s Kitchen is being supported by the Evening Standard, which donated £1M towards it from the Evening Standard dispossessed fund.
“It says a lot about Reece that even during the biggest tournament of his career he’s thinking about how we can get meals to people in need in Tower Hamlets, the most deprived area of Europe.” - Justin Byam Shaw (founder of The Felix Project).
It is hoped that with enough donations and support, the kitchen will cook and distribute 1.5 million meals a year.
"I am so very proud of Reece's commitment and passion for The Felix Project, he has always endeavoured to help people less fortunate than himself and is looking forward to a long and successful partnership with the charity." - Nigel James (Reece James father)
Reece will be announcing the winner of his signed England shirt on Tuesday 29th June, by randomly selecting the name of donors who have kindly donated.
For your chance to win, simply head to Reece's fundraising page to donate £5.