Furloughed Foodies, a new voluntary run organisation, has been set up to help provide healthy and delicious meals to NHS staff across the capital that will keep them fuelled during their long shifts on the COVID-19 frontline.  

Run entirely by volunteers, who have recently been furloughed or let go from employment due to the current global crisis, the food is cooked in home kitchens and delivered to a designated hospital contact in each location. With each meal capped at £1.50 per portion, dishes to date include Moroccan tagines and super-food salads made from fresh ingredients, without the need for preparation by staff.  

Since the launch on 30th March, the organisation is already preparing 2,100 meals weekly and delivering to fifteen hospitals, including UCLH, Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital, and The Whittington Hospital.  

Furloughed Foodies

The idea started when Floris Ten Nijenhuis’ the Co-founder’s travel plans had been cut short because of the global pandemic. He started to cook alone for hospitals before calling on recently furloughed marketer Chloe Hall to help spread the message. Both were determined to make the best of the situation and contribute positively to the battle against COVID-19.  

NHS staff working in COVID-19 wards were often unable to visit the hospital canteens due to infection control, or that these were limited by opening hours. The pair recognised, having spoken to friends who were doctors on the frontline, that while deliveries of takeaways and raw produce were all incredibly helpful, provisions of more ‘normal’ balanced food, which healthcare professionals would be happy to eat day in day out, was limited.  

Floris Ten Nijenhuis, Furloughed Foodies Co-founder, commented:  

“We started this initiative to try to make a difference, and in just one week since coming up with the idea we’ve done around twenty deliveries, primarily to A&E and ICU staff. It doesn’t really get much more front line than that. We’re lucky to now have around 100 volunteers who have signed up, which will allow us to take on more hospitals and feed more doctors.”  

Furlough Foodies

The food is purchased in such a way as to minimise exposure of the virus to those cooking it and while some are not professional chefs, all steps are taken to ensure that the work is carried out both within the UK’s food safety guidelines and the current advice surrounding COVID-19.  

Furloughed Foodies has already raised nearly £7,000, relying largely on the generosity of friends and family, but for it to continue the team have now set a target of raising £25,000 in the hope this will allow them to continue to cook and deliver to the front-line staff for the coming months.  

Chloe Hall, Furloughed Foodies Co-founder added:  

“The feedback we have received so far from NHS staff has been incredible, but what really gets us going on our group chat is the photos of smiling front line workers. So, we really want to call on the public for more donations so that we can support our NHS heroes until the end of this struggle!”

Visit www.furloughedfoodieslondon.co.uk for more information or to donate.  

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