King Charles visits food charity as cost of living takes its toll
King Charles has visited a food redistribution charity called the Felix Project in Poplar, East London, as food poverty reaches critical levels in the UK.
Camilla, the Queen Consort was due to attend the engagement with him, but Buckingham Palace announced that she would be absent.
On 13 February, Camilla tested positive for Covid, and while a palace spokesperson has assured the public she has made an "excellent recovery" she needed to use today to prepare for a literary reception she is holding on 23 February to celebrate the second anniversary of her Reading Room — a passion project of the Queen Consort.
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The Chief Executive of the Felix Project, Charlotte Hill, said that although they were "disappointed" Camilla couldn't attend, they hoped she would visit again another time.
While he was there, the King unveiled a freezer filled with food alongside London Major, Sadiq Khan. The freezer is part of a partnership the Prince of Wales Charitable Fund — which he established in 1979 — has recently undertaken with the Felix Project.
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The King is said to have a made a "sizeable personal donation" to a £1million starting fund to provide 800 fridges and freezers to food banks and other charities across the country.
The aim of this is to allow the charities to store more food and for longer to enable them to help more people affected by food poverty during the cost of living crisis, and the Felix Project will take the lead in distributing these much needed white goods.
King Charles also toured the charity's kitchens where volunteers were preparing meals from surplus supermarket food. Each day the kitchen will make anywhere from 3,500 to 5,000 meals a day. These are then distributed to other organisations who ensure they get to the people who need them.
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The Felix project volunteers have so far made over two million meals, which include lentil bakes and chicken curries — on this occasion some of the volunteers were making a tagine, which Charles said sounded "amazing" and even asked for the recipe.
Charles also said before leaving the engagement that he thought the Felix Project was a "remarkable organisation".
"Before I go, I must just say what a remarkable organisation the Felix Project is and I just wanted to join in thanking them, and congratulating them, on the remarkable differences they are making all around this country – you're setting a fantastic example."
The King referenced the cost of living crisis during his first annual Christmas address as monarch — a move that was deemed by some as verging on too political.
While the causes of the crisis are perhaps partly political, the consequences can firmly be argued to be philanthropical, and safe for the King to tackle and highlight through his engagements.
The Felix Project said "the cost-of-living crisis has seen demand from its partner organisations for food donations increase significantly, with the organisation working hard to meet requests," according to PA.
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Figures from the charity show that 4.7 million adults go hungry every day in the UK and two million children suffer from food insecurity and might risk missing meals.
The Trussell Trust, another leading food bank charity, distributed 1.3 million food parcels between April and September of 2022 and reveals that 14 million people are living in poverty in the UK – 4.5 million of whom are children.
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