Major food groups in the UK have formed a coalition to provide free meals to the staff of the National Health Services (NHS), who are on the frontlines in the fight against the raging coronavirus outbreak in the country, Morning Star reported. Food groups including FeedNHS, Mealforce, Feed our Frontline and BaxterStorey have already raised one million pounds (USD 1.23 million) for the initiative and will be providing one million meals to health workers across the country from April 20 for a period of six weeks.
Morning Star reported that “meals are being served by Leon, BaxterStorey and Mealforce, with other high-street brands supporting the campaign including Dishoom, Wasabi, Tortilla, Franco Manca, Farmer J and Wrap It Up.”
FeedNHS’s press release stated that 25,000 hot meals per day are now being delivered to the NHS staff across 55 hospitals. FeedNHS requested a further donation from the public in order to add another 15,000 meals a day, and to extend provision beyond six weeks.
Carol Haraldsson, head of Charitable Giving at University College London Hospitals (UCLH) NHS Foundation Trust, was quoted by Morning Star as saying, “Many doctors and nurses in critical care units do not have time to leave wards to get a good meal. Support from the FeedNHS coalition and funding has made a massive difference to our frontline team at UCLH, helping to get meals to NHS staff that need them most.”
The NHS received 6.6 billion pounds (USD 8.15 billion) from the coronavirus emergency response fund in April and 5 billion pounds (USD 6.18 billion) as a coronavirus contingency fund in March. However, decades of systematic underfunding with the motive of privatization has weakened the NHS, currently operating at an overstretched capacity. The UK has recorded over 124,743 cases of COVID-19 and 16,509 people have died as of April 21.