The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) progressed its collective efforts to support the local community in its recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic with the opening of the Wingfield kitchen to prepare and package 200 hot meals a day for distribution to those in need within the neighbouring boroughs of Merton and Wandsworth.
The meals are being prepared by Food & Drink at Wimbledon, the AELTC’s year-round catering partner, led by executive chef Adam Fargin, and will be distributed to those in need by City Harvest, the food surplus distribution charity with whom the AELTC has a long-standing relationship.
In addition to the meal distribution programme, which is currently planned to run for the next three months, a donation of funds has been made to City Harvest by the Wimbledon Foundation – the charity of the AELTC and The Championships – to support the organisation which has provided more than 1.5 million meals during lockdown to date.
Richard Lewis CBE, AELTC Chief Executive, said: “Since the cancellation of The Championships, we have worked hard to make a difference to those in our local community and beyond as the long period of recovery from the coronavirus begins.
Many groups across our communities are without access to proper food, and so, with no Championships to cook for, we have repurposed our Wingfield kitchen to provide 200 hot meals per day, which are being distributed across Merton and Wandsworth.
We would like to pay tribute to the invaluable efforts of both Food & Drink at Wimbledon, our year-round catering partner, and City Harvest, our distribution partner, as we work with them to play a small part in helping our community through this time of crisis.”
Adam Fargin, executive chef at Food & Drink at Wimbledon, said: “It’s wonderful to be able to support our long-standing partner, City Harvest, who help to feed vulnerable people in the local area. We hope the worthy recipients enjoy some of our specially created dishes, which would have been served up at this year’s Championships at Wimbledon – we’re glad they’ve been put to good use.”
Nikki Tadema, COO at City Harvest, said: “It’s estimated about 24% of London cannot afford to eat. Worryingly, with high projections of unemployment, there will be more people that still don’t have the funding to feed themselves.
Wimbledon opening up an industrial kitchen to produce this food for the people who need it is outstanding. They’ve stepped up to the plate and we are very proud to be partnering with them."
Last month, the AELTC announced a series of contributions, bringing together the collective strength of Wimbledon through use of the organisation’s facilities, resources and charitable giving to aid the COVID-19 response and recovery efforts across society. Further information on those efforts is available here.
The AELTC will continue to develop additional ways to provide support, and to show our gratitude to those on the front line of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the course of 2020 and in the build-up to next year’s Championships. The 134th Championships will be staged from 28 June to 11 July 2021.
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