National campaign giving high quality food to those battling COVID-19 reaches Yorkshire. Hardworking staff at NHS hospitals in Leeds and Harrogate will be provided with bags of free fresh fruit and vegetables today, as part of a national campaign to provide high quality produce to frontline workers battling COVID-19.
‘Feed the Frontline’ launched on 3rd April, spearheaded by London’s Borough Market which is making twice weekly deliveries to hospitals in the capital. St Thomas’, Kings College Hospital, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, The Whittington Hospital and Orpington Hospital staff have all benefited from bags of seasonal, high quality, fresh food.
The campaign is now launching in Yorkshire, with twice weekly deliveries of 500 bags containing fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables from Bradford St James Wholesale Market and fresh produce supplier Delifresh being made to Leeds Teaching Hospitals, and the newly set up NHS Nightingale Hospital Yorkshire & the Humber, based in Harrogate. Once at the hospitals, the bags will be distributed to frontline staff by volunteers.
Since launch, over 12,000 bags of fruit and vegetable bags have been delivered to NHS frontline staff. Initially funded by private businesses for deliveries throughout April 2020, Feed the Frontline aims to run throughout the peak of the COVID-19 crisis. Set up by new charity, The Healthworkers’ Support Foundation, the organisation is now calling for members of the public to help feed as many frontline staff as possible by donating via www.feedthefrontline.uk. Fruit and vegetable wholesale markets, companies and charities across the UK are also being urged to fund the expansion across the nation.
Jon Kenny, spokesperson for Feed the Frontline said: “We know we are already making a real difference to the hospitals supported by the campaign. The staff who are working around the clock to save lives and care for those affected by Covid-19 are telling us that receiving bags of fresh, seasonal fruit and veg brightens up their day and means they don’t have to spend precious time queuing at supermarkets. We’re asking the Great British Public and more companies to come on board with Feed the Frontline to help fund the expansion to more hospitals so those who are giving so much to care for others can stay healthy and feed themselves and their families.”
Paul Watkins, Director of Fundraising at Leeds Cares, the charity for Leeds Hospitals, said: “I’m so impressed with the quality of fruit and vegetables that we have received. Leeds Cares is proud to support this initiative of supplying fruit and vegetables to staff with a donation of £10,000. Thank you to everyone who is supporting us so that we can fuel the wonderful staff working around the clock at Leeds Teaching Hospitals. A huge thank you also goes to ‘Feed the Frontline’ for this great initiative”
Noel Kershaw, Managing Director at Delifresh said: “The whole team at Delifresh are delighted to be involved in this amazing project in providing beautiful fresh fruit & vegetables to the heroes working tirelessly for our NHS.”
Sara Danesin, a Masterchef finalist who has recently returned to work for the NHS as a Staff Nurse in a busy acute medical ward, said: “A good, balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables is paramount to maintain good health whilst we are under so much pressure and stress. Our shifts are so long that by the time we have finished, shops are closed or have run out of fresh produce.”