Livery Kitchen Initiative update 9th Feb 2022

Following a recent update on the Livery Kitchen Initiative, the Livery Committee wishes to congratulate everyone involved in this remarkable project and thank Richard Winstanley and all his team for their phenomenal efforts.

As you will remember from the last Livery Kitchen Initiative (LKI) update in mid-December, welfare refreshment packs were delivered to Bart Health NHS Trust hospitals in East London over the Christmas and New Year period in order to provide staff with some respite from having to deal with the growing number of Covid admissions. These tuckshops-on-a-trolley were very well received by the many staff who found themselves working on Covid wards over the festive season.

Whilst it was clear by the New Year that mortality rates as a result of the Omicron variant were lower than its Delta predecessor, there were nonetheless a number of people being admitted to hospital with Covid. This was either because they were unvaccinated or had tested positive when admitted to hospital for other elective procedures or surgery. Because hospitals have tried to continue with routine activity, and because Omicron has proved to be particularly infectious, fragile staff morale has been further dented by increased staff absences.

The LKI project was therefore asked to provide ready-meals to three Barts Health NHS Trust hospitals in East London for a 6 week period from early January 2022.

The Grocers, Drapers, Fishmongers and Merchant Taylors kitchens have therefore between them been providing 2,600 LKI ready-meals a week to the Royal London Hospital (1,500 meals a week), Newham Hospital (600 meals a week) and Whipps Cross University Hospital (500 meals a week). The Fruiters’ Company have also kindly continued to provide fruit in support of this fourth phase of the LKI project. Our thanks must also go to the Hackney Carriage Drivers Livery Company for their support to the Livery Kitchens Initiative.

When LKI ready-meal provision ceases on Friday 18th February, just over 174,000 meals will have been provided to four Barts Health NHS Trust hospitals and 16 Communities in East London since the project started in April 2020. £670,000 has been raised to run the project through support from 65 Livery companies, and other organisations and individuals. Of the £116,000 kept in reserve for just such a contingency, some £70,000 will remain in reserve for the future once meal production stops in a couple of weeks’ time.

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