LEON has ramped up its ongoing support of the NHS during the Covid-19 crisis, by launching FeedNHS, alongside actors Damian Lewis, Helen McCrory and fellow actor and comedian Matt Lucas.
Launched only last week LEON is already catering for thousands of front line NHS workers and liaising with NHS Trusts to ramp up this vital service.
Thankfully many other hospitality ‘names’ have joined and helped, Wasabi, Tortilla, Peach Pubs, Rosa Thai, Hop, Pizza Pilgrims, Franco Manca, Farmer J, Tossed, Haché, Abokado, Dishoom and Nusa Kitchen.
The not-for-profit campaign is set to raise vital funds, to provide LEON’s food directly to key workers on the frontline in the NHS, dealing with the ongoing crisis. Many doctors and nurses in critical care units do not have time to leave wards to get a good meal.
LEON is hoping that others will join and support this campaign. The restaurant industry has for the most been closed down by the virus but there are suppliers and wholesalers who still have capacity and also food, and many talented entrepreneurs and know how across the industry. It is hoped that this is the start of the industry harnessing their resources to work together to feed the NHS.
FeedNHS will initially be working with Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to deliver 5,600 hot meals per day to critical care staff, in five of their major hospitals.
The campaign follows the ongoing work of LEON and some other brands to support NHS workers as the crisis hit. LEON introduced a 50% discount to NHS teams immediately and committed to turn over 100% of profits to the NHS during the crisis. To date, LEON has served 19,214 meals to NHS workers at 50 per cent discount.
LEON co-founder and CEO John Vincent said: “We have launched FeedNHS because we have been inundated with direct requests from NHS staff and from their families, asking us to feed them. These amazing people need us. They are already going without sleep. If they also don’t have good food, they will burn out faster, function less well and become ill themselves. We hope other restaurant brands will join us in helping them. They deserve all of our support for their own sake, and for the patients they’re looking after. The hospitality industry is full of wonderful and passionate people. I expect many will want to be part of this action where they can, and where they still have the capabilities and facilities.”
Damian Lewis is wholeheartedly backing the effort and said: “We’ve got some good friends in the NHS working on the frontline and we’ve been asking how we can help. One answer was food. With cafes closed and staff working longer hours, eating at work was becoming a real problem. Our first point of call was John Vincent at Leon and we had to go no further. Together we are working on providing the solution that is desperately needed. We are giving money ourselves and inviting others to do the same.”
LEON are also in contact with central government, who are fully supportive of NHS Trusts’ effort to respond to this crucial and unprecedented demand for staff food during the crisis. Every trust will be coming up with local solutions. LEON also want this to be a rallying cry to other restaurants and caterers who are still open to help and get involved with FeedNHS.