Despite Madonna's proclamations from her petal-strewn bathtub, Coronavirus is not the great equaliser. While this time is difficult for everyone, there are some who are suffering more than others; people who’ve lost their jobs, dependent on food banks or in a difficult home situation, amongst many other awful scenarios. But our little island is a wonderful place and, along with pensioners raising millions of pounds and our favourite bars donating to the NHS, there’s also a wealth of organisations who are using the lockdown to help those in need. We’ve rounded up some of London’s restaurants who are helping the community in various ways; find out how you can get involved.
This Soho stalwart has been feeding Londoners since 1944 and it’s stepped up once again during our current crisis. Using a GoFundMe page, Lina Stores is raising money for hospitality staff who have lost their jobs, with donations used to provide food packages of pasta and sauces. As well as helping people through a difficult time, if you donate more than £20, you will get 20% off the restaurant when it reopens.
Part of the same gang who run the renowned Primeur and Westerns Laundry, Jolene is one of Newington Green’s hottest spots for baked goods and fancy meals. It’s also stepping up right now, working with local charities to prepare meals and food for those in need. The site continues to source from sustainable and small-scale farmers, using the produce to create everything from bread and sarnies through to pasta dishes, which are then distributed through recognised channels. And all it costs on your end is £6.50 to feed someone hungry.
A unique catering company, The Plattery is dedicating 100% of its efforts to helping those in need with its own scheme dubbed Vital Meals. Along with using 10% of profits from its February take, the company is asking you to donate, with money used to provide meals and essential kits to those in need, including the elderly, vulnerable and those who can’t leave their homes. And when the donations stop coming in, the organisation has pledged to keep going no matter what, though hopefully, with this link, that shouldn’t happen.
Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen
Known for her love of West African flavours, Zoe Adjonyoh is using her talents to help those in need in Hackney, Hackney Wick and Bow. Through her company, Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen, the chef has teamed up with the likes of Help The Aged, St Paul’s Church, and The People’s Collective to provide hot meals and grocery kits. You can either donate here or support the brand by purchasing a voucher to be used at a later date.
A Notting Hill fave, 7 Saints can usually be found serving diners a curated European menu of small plates. During lockdown, however, they’re putting their kitchen talent to good use by creating meal boxes for elderly folks in the Kensington and Chelsea area, as they collaborate with Age UK.
Dalston’s Angelina has gained its reputation for its rather unique marriage of Japanese and Italian flavours, creating dishes such as pork-filled ramen and eel risotto. And along with still delivering the goods via its ordering service, the eatery is helping out those less fortunate by collaborating with Made In Hackney. Using donations from the public, the restaurant is employing its staff to create meals that will go on to feed the homeless and vulnerable.
Looking for more on how London's food and drink scene is helping out? Check out our blog on the companies raising money for the NHS.