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Acton-based City Harvest expands building to offer more meals for people facing food poverty

Acton-based food charity City Harvest, has expanded its depot with an additional mezzanine floor that will allow it to more than double its output and offer 60,000 meals a day to people who face food poverty and cannot afford to eat.

City Harvest collects surplus food from various suppliers including restaurants, grocers and manufacturers and then delivers it to community food programs including foodbanks to help people locally to combat food poverty with nutritious meals.

To mark the opening of the new floor, Harriet Lamb, CEO of climate action group WRAP and Ealing Central & Acton MP Dr Rupa Huq cut the red ribbon at City Harvest’s Acton Park depot.

Funding for the project saw property company and Acton Park owner SEGRO contribute 20% to the cost with City Harvest providing 20% and the remaining 60% being donated by non-profit organisation, The Story of Christmas Appeal.

Harriet Lamb CEO at WRAP said: “It’s heart-warming to watch the growing success story of surplus food redistribution, and we are proud that the WRAP-managed grant scheme supported City Harvest as they rescued surplus produce from farmers and got it to people in need.”

Ms Lamb added: “Overall, a huge 70 million more meals were redistributed in the last year thanks to City Harvest and other organisations in this sector and we celebrate all the people involved backstage to make this possible. It is my absolute pleasure to be part of opening the depot expansion, and I know this will help ensure food reaches those who need it most rather than ending up in the bin.”

Dean Bernard, head of operations at City Harvest said: “By increasing City Harvest’s capacity, we can rescue, store and deliver greater volumes of food. As a direct result of the newly implemented mezzanine area, our total operating capability has increased by 15%. This has created the potential to increase activity by over 60,000 meals, more than doubling City Harvest’s current daily output.”

Bonnie Minshull, head of London at SEGRO said: “SEGRO takes its responsibility towards the local community seriously and is proud to support City Harvest’s incredible work in combating food poverty, while simultaneously tackling food waste. I am delighted that through our Responsible SEGRO commitment to invest in local communities we were able to help unlock additional funding, and incredibly proud that we could bring together contributions from our supply chain partners to ensure the project was delivered on time and on budget. The outcome is that fewer vulnerable people in London will go hungry.”

Dr Rupa Huq MP added: “It’s always inspiring to visit City Harvest at SEGRO’s Acton Park estate, I’m full of admiration for their long-standing work supplying West London and 27 other boroughs with food. However, seeing City Harvest is needed more than ever is bittersweet. The expansion reflects an acute need to increase capacity at this desperate time. I congratulate the whole team on making this happen.”

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