Food for London Now: Shaun Bailey says our appeal partner The Felix Project inspires him because of his own childhood experience

Francesco Loy Bell
·2 min read
<p>Conservative Mayoral Candidate Shaun Bailey volunteers at the Felix Project depot in West London</p> (Nigel Howard)

Conservative Mayoral Candidate Shaun Bailey volunteers at the Felix Project depot in West London

(Nigel Howard)

Conservative politician Shaun Bailey warned that “demand for things like The Felix Project will only grow” as he visited the charity’s West London depot and delivered food for those in need.

The mayoral candidate joined Felix volunteers on a food delivery run, dropping off produce to various charities in the area before being shown around the Park Royal depot in Ealing. This was Bailey’s second time visiting The Felix Project, with the politician eventually aiming to become a driver for the charity.

“What’s interesting about the Felix project is that there’s a growing need,” he said. “When this project was set up, I don’t think they ever imagined that they’d have to scale up this quickly. The fact that they can do that is testament to them, but also it points to the fact that there is such a great need out there.”

Bailey revealed how he was inspired to work alongside The Felix Project after himself experiencing the “panic” of not being able to always eat. “I come from a very poor background, and I always remember how I’d sit on the floor and I’d budget, and the first thing would be the budget for food,” he said.

<p>The mayoral candidate joined Felix volunteers on a food delivery run, </p>Nigel Howard

The mayoral candidate joined Felix volunteers on a food delivery run,

Nigel Howard

“If you live your life in survival mode, you’re stressed. And if you’re stressed, all bad things are open to you. So you need that security in order to build. Organisations like Felix – not only are they distributing food, they’re distributing good food, and that’s the thing.”

Bailey praised the work our Food For London Now campaign in partnership with The Felix Project had done in helping raise awareness for London’s growing hunger crisis. “Letting people know what exists is super important. With volunteering, [The Felix project] are trying to be a part of a circular economy, they are trying to get people involved, and they are trying to support people. All of that needs knowledge.”

Since the launch of the Food For London Now campaign in March, approximately 15 million free hot meals have been distributed to over 600 charities, schools and holiday programmes, with over 1,000 volunteers giving up their time to join the effort to help the families and individuals most effected by COVID-19. The campaign has raised almost £10 million for food The Felix Project since March, with the money going towards feeding London’s most vulnerable throughout the trying times of lockdown restrictions and COVID-19.

On his message to London as we head into winter, Bailey said: “We potentially have a big problem coming. The furlough scheme has been absolutely brilliant, but it can’t last forever, and that means we run the risk of quite high unemployment. We can all do our bit: you can be a volunteer, you can provide some food – you can just spread the word.”