The Felix Project was founded in 2016 to commemorate a young boy named Felix, who died suddenly of meningitis at the tender age of 14. His Father, Justin Byam Shaw, wanted Felix’s legacy to live on; thus the Felix Project was born.
Felix was a compassionate young boy that felt for those that didn’t enjoy the same privileges as him. He became upset upon discovering that an opposing football team of 10-year-olds from South London, had not eaten anything for breakfast before a football tournament. This memory prompted Justin to found The Felix Project.
The question is who doesn’t The Felix Project donate to! As you can imagine and as many of you will have witnessed, London is home to thousands of people in need of a hot meal. From homeless shelters to victims of domestic violence, impoverished schools and asylum seekers that have fled war-torn regions, the list of different charities that The Felix Project works with is endless.
Collection from donors
In short, The Felix Project collects and distributes surplus foods from supermarkets, independent companies, bakeries and anybody willing to donate food that otherwise would be wasted. Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, M & S, Gail’s, Paul’s, Box’d Fresh, Costco and even Harrods donate generously to The Felix Project. The list of donors is far longer than this! The food is collected by volunteers, who drive The Felix Project's vans, generously donated by Uber, Pauls and Fortnum & Mason.
Sorting & Packing
Once the food arrives at The Felix Project warehouse in West London, it’s all hands on deck! On average, The Felix Project depo sees 30 volunteers per day sort and prepare the food ready to go out for delivery. It is a meticulous operation, grouping similar foods together, placing certain foods in the chillers and making sure we send a variety of ingredients to the charities. Not all charities require the same food. For example, the homeless shelters require different food to schools.The Felix Project warehouse itself could easily be a Tesco or Waitrose warehouse! Everything is organised systematically to help the volunteers navigate their way around.
Delivery to charities
The food is then delivered by volunteers to the various charities. Some charities cater for 30 people a day, some cater for 80, it just depends on each charity’s requirements. This is the most rewarding aspect of The Felix Project-knowing thousands of people per week will receive at least one hot meal, they otherwise might not have received. Charities rely on the goodwill of others to carry out their work and a large part of which is feeding the people that come through their doors.
The Felix Project is the first of its kind in London, which derived inspiration from a similar initiative based in Oxford. One young boy’s love and compassion for others has fed tens of thousands of people in the first few years
We read about The Felix Project in The Evening Standard and it immediately struck a chord with us. As Londoners, we were aware of food poverty in the city and homelessness. A gentleman that now benefits from The Felix Project spoke of his old job, working for a sushi manufacturer who would dump 100-200kg of unsold sushi into a compactor to destroy, instead of donating the food to homeless shelters and charities. This wastage made us want to take action!
Before we began trading here at Box’d Fresh, we knew that any surplus produce, albeit a small surplus, would be going straight to The Felix Project.
The Felix Project has been a perfect fit for us because our surplus food is fresh and needs to be used promptly.
Donating surplus food is one thing, but our Community Manager Jessica wanted to see the project in action, so she volunteers at their West London warehouse every weekend. She's part of a team of 150 volunteers to work at The Felix Project.