Feeding the NHS: Food reaches Yorkshire coronavirus frontline staff

Hardworking NHS staff at hospitals in Yorkshire will be provided with food, as part of a national campaign to provide high quality produce to frontline workers battling COVID-19.

Tuesday, 21st April 2020, 6:00 am

Bags of fresh fruit and vegetables will be given to frontline staff from Leeds Teaching Hospitals, and the newly set up NHS Nightingale Hospital in Harrogate today (Tuesday 21 April), as part of the Feed the Frontline Frontline campaign.

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.

"Thank you to everyone who is supporting us so that we can fuel the wonderful staff working around the clock at Leeds Teaching Hospitals."

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Lingile Maboyi, a nurse at St James Hospital, Leeds, receives the food package. Photo credit: Other

Mr Watkins added Leeds Cares has supported this initiative of supplying fruit and vegetables to staff with a donation of £10,000.

Twice weekly deliveries of 500 bags containing fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables will be made from Bradford St James Wholesale Market and fresh produce supplier Delifresh.

Once at the hospitals, the bags will be distributed to frontline staff by volunteers.

Noel Kershaw, the managing director for 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.”

Helen Macdonald from Leeds Cares receives the food package from fresh produce supplier Delifresh. Photo credit: other

The innovative campaign launched at the beginning of April, spearheaded by London’s Borough Market which is making twice weekly deliveries to hospitals in the capital.

This includes St Thomas’, Kings College Hospital, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, The Whittington Hospital and Orpington Hospital.

Since launch, over 12,000 bags of fruit and vegetable bags have been delivered to NHS frontline staff.

Jon Kenny, spokesperson for Feed the Frontline said: “We know we are already making a real difference to the hospitals supported by the campaign.

Pictured Helen Macdonald from Leeds Cares with the bags of free fresh fruit and vegetables. Photo credit: Other

"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."

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.

Mr Kenny said: "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.”

Fruit and vegetable wholesale markets, companies and charities across the UK are also being urged to fund the expansion across the nation.

Visit www.feedthefrontline.uk for more information about the campaign and how to get involved. Spread the word on social media via @FeedUKFrontline #feedthefrontline

Join our new coronavirus Facebook group for the latest confirmed news and advice as soon as we get it www.facebook.com/groups/yorkshirecoronavirus

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