New mezzanine floor at food redistributor’s depot will allow it to process an additional 60,000 meals a day and respond to escalating food poverty

City Harvest CEO Sarah Calcutt (centre) at the mezzanine opening with Rupa Huq (left) and Harriet Lamb (right)

City Harvest CEO Sarah Calcutt (centre) at the mezzanine opening with Rupa Huq (left) and Harriet Lamb (right)

London food redistribution charity City Harvest has increased its capacity, allowing it to process an additional 60,000 meals, which would more than double its daily output.

WRAP CEO Harriet Lamb and local MP Rupa Huq opened the new mezzanine floor at City Harvest’s Action depot, marking a significant expansion of its operations.

Lamb 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.

“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.”

The expansion responds to the escalating issue of food poverty, with a growing number of families struggling to afford basic necessities. According to City harvest, one in four Londoners struggle to afford food.

The charity collects surplus food from various sources, including restaurants, grocers, manufacturers, wholesalers, hotels, and caterers.

It then delivers high-quality, nourishing meals to community food programs supporting the homeless, individuals and families in transition, women in crises, refugees, veterans, children, and the elderly.

This project was fully funded, thanks to City’s Harvest’s generous supporters: The Story of Christmas, Permira Foundation, and SEGRO.

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 per cent.”

Huq, who is the Labour MP for Ealing Central and Acton, added: “It’s always inspiring to visit City Harvest… 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.”