Help the Hungry: How the campaign has attracted attention and support from big names

April Roach
Stars Ian McKellen, Olivia Colman and Stephen Fry have drawn attention to our campaign: PA

The Help the Hungry campaign has attracted widespread attention on television and social media, with many household names getting behind the appeal to tackle food poverty.

In just eight weeks, The Independent’s campaign has raised more than £4m for our appeal partner, The Felix Project, to enable them to quadruple their supply of food to those unable to afford or access sufficient supplies.

In the past fortnight, Channel 4 has aired a short documentary piece on The Felix Project while Piers Morgan interviewed The Independent proprietor Evgeny Lebedev and comedian Jack Whitehall on Good Morning Britain about The Independent’s efforts to tackle rising hunger.

Whitehall told viewers: “It’s solving two problems – the huge amount of food that we throw away each year and then also getting food to the most vulnerable people in societym," adding: “It’s a fantastic project.” Mr Lebedev had already spoken about the campaign on Sky News when he announced the new appeal target to raise £10m to feed London’s hungry for three years.

The Guardian reported the news that Turner prize-winning artist Damien Hirst has released limited edition prints to raise funds for NHS Charities Together and The Felix Project, paying tribute to frontline health workers and also the volunteers who are getting food to people who need it most. “I just think NHS workers do an amazing job,” Hirst told the Guardian. “They are like soldiers, people are dying and they are dying too. All frontline workers are the greatest people in the world at the minute.”

Monday is the last day that the limited edition prints, entitled Butterfly Rainbow and Butterfly Heart, are available to order online.

The Daily Mail picked up on an article in The Independent in which singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding joined Mr Lebedev and Felix volunteers to deliver food to vulnerable people in Soho and Bayswater. The Help the Hungry campaign was a “restoration of human faith”, she said.

In the Channel 4 documentary, Feeding Brits in Need During Lockdown, a Felix depot co-ordinator also paid tribute to the incredible efforts of the Felix volunteers. “I thought the volunteering would go down, but it’s up,” she said. “It’s really nice to see that they won’t let corona stop them.”

On social media, actors Ian McKellen and Stephen Fry shared the Help the Hungry appeal with millions of followers on Twitter. Other names including Emma Watson and Robbie Williams had already shown their support for the campaign. McKellen said on Twitter: “No one should go hungry, especially in times like these. Please support this good work.” Fry echoed that sentiment, saying: “No one should go hungry as a result of #Covid19, so today [The Independent] and Evening Standard pledge to raise £10 million to help the vulnerable. Here’s how to #HelptheHungry.”

The Independent is encouraging readers to help groups that are trying to feed the hungry during the crisis. Find out how you can help here. Follow this link to donate to our campaign in London, in partnership with the Evening Standard.

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