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City Law firm Addleshaw Goddard’s meal project helps to alleviate Holiday Hunger with City Harvest in London this Summer.

Solidarity and unity were benefits of the COVID-19 pandemic. Common crisis allowed companies, and individuals, to step up and contribute to the emergency response that mobilised in London from March 2020.

One such company, and friend of City Harvest, was Addleshaw Goddard, Moorgate-based Law firm, and its catering partner, BaxterStorey, who created nutritious, fresh meals for the homeless, and other vulnerable people, throughout and in between lockdowns.

At the height of this admirable operation, the BaxterStorey team were providing 500 meals a week, distributed to projects feeding the hungry by City Harvest vans. Not only was this an opportunity to support the London community, but also to reengage and motivate furloughed kitchen staff in need of a purpose. In early 2020, BaxterStorey’s meals project, backed by Addleshaw Goddard, began by providing hot meals for the homeless, and the project has since evolved.

Ryan Goddard, Kitchen team member at Addleshaw Goddard preparing kids’ lunches

“You think those problems don’t exist on your doorstep.”

Combatting Holiday Hunger

This July, Holiday Hunger returned as schools broke up for the summer holidays. Wanting to offer help yet again at a time of soaring food insecurity, Addleshaw Goddard & BaxterStorey are supporting City Harvest by providing healthy lunch options and snacks for school children at the holiday projects and children’s programmes we deliver to across greater London.

BaxterStorey has provided goods such as fresh sandwiches, wraps, brownies, fruit and juices, for recipients to assemble lunch bags for children without access to good food. Whilst London and the UK gradually return to normalcy, the team are intent on continuing some form of meal provision, especially to support children who face Holiday Hunger throughout school holidays.

Darren Pardoe, BaxterStorey Executive Head Chef, comments on the effect the project has had on his team:

“We are really happy to be helping City Harvest and its recipient charities all over London. It means a lot to us in the kitchen, to know we are making a difference. We are grateful to be able to help the cause.”

Darren Pardoe, Head Chef, helping City Harvest driver, Joe, to load the fresh meals.

“This project has helped chefs get out of furlough as we’ve had to call people in to help and so have kept people in a job. It has helped everyone really, by providing food to those in need, and supporting the mental health of our workforce.” Darren Pardoe, Executive Head Chef, BaxterStorey

Ian’s Story

Ian Pigeon, Head of Client Services at Addleshaw Goddard, first became aware of the rising issue of food poverty in London when he volunteered at a local, London food bank. He soon realised the scale of the issue and just how many people were being pulled into challenges relating to food poverty due to the lasting effects of COVID-19.

After witnessing the issue at hand, Ian brought it to Addleshaw Goddard to see how the company could help local charities and people experiencing food poverty. Fortunately, he was pushing at an open door as the Law firm was willing and equipped to help the project, with feedback from the partners being unanimously positive as they saw an opportunity to genuinely support the London community. They looked to see where they could have the most value to support those most in need, and it was apparent that through City Harvest they would be able to reach a lot more people facing food poverty.

“You think those problems don’t exist on your doorstep. There was a food bank next to a Rolls Royce dealership. It gave me a different perspective and got me through lockdown and so, I brought it back to the business to see what we could do about it.”Ian Pigeon, Head of Client Services, Addleshaw Goddard

Ian concurs with Darren’s commitment to the team of chefs who have helped to launch and fuel the meal provision project, and the difference it has made to morale, mental health, and general wellbeing:

“It was and is as much about helping the chefs as it was to help people in need, helping those close to us, giving them purpose, helping with their mental health, allowing them to continue doing what they are passionate about.”Ian Pigeon, Head of Client Services

Future Goals

As the Addleshaw Goddard-backed, BaxterStorey-cooked meal project supports those facing Holiday Hunger this summer, the firm has identified a need to continue meal provision and focus their efforts on where they can deliver the most value and make the most difference post COVID-19.

Child food poverty is not going away anytime soon, and they hope to continue to help adults and children facing hardship and food poverty wherever and whenever they can.

Help City Harvest to feed London’s hungry children and donate now.