THEIR MAJESTIES THE KING AND QUEEN WILL OFFICIALLY LAUNCH THE CORONATION FOOD PROJECT
14th November 2023
To mark His Majesty’s 75th birthday today, the King and Queen will officially launch the Coronation Food Project.
Inspired by His Majesty, the Coronation Food Project seeks to bridge the gap between food waste and food need across all four nations of the United Kingdom, helping people and helping the planet.
Their Majesties The King and Queen will launch the Coronation Food Project at South Oxfordshire Food and Education Alliance, part of the FareShare network.
The King and Queen, accompanied by Dame Martina Milburn and Baroness Louise Casey, will be welcomed by Richard and Ruth Kennell. The Kennells founded and run the South Oxfordshire Food and Education Alliance (SOFEA).
Since its launch in 2014, SOFEA has helped over 400 young people gain qualifications, skills and work experience whilst helping to transform their local communities through projects such as community larders and food surplus distribution.
Entering the warehouse, Their Majesties will meet SOFEA staff and volunteers who rescue surplus food and redistribute it to 120 community organisations in need across Oxfordshire, Berkshire, and Wiltshire.
With the help of the Coronation Food Project, food networks across the United Kingdom will be supported to reuse greater amounts of surplus food.
After a short conversation about the positive impact of SOFEA on the local community, the King and Queen will move to four packing stations where staff and volunteers will be packing surplus food which will be distributed to a range of community organisations. At this point, Richard Kennell will explain the type of surplus food that is normally received at the centre, the organisations and families which benefit from it and how The Coronation Food Project can make a difference.
Their Majesties will briefly view the chiller where fresh food is kept, before moving down the warehouse aisles to meet some of the volunteers who make the work of SOFEA possible.
Moving outside, the King and Queen will see four Fairshare food vans loaded with goods for distribution. Their Majesties will have the opportunity to speak to the drivers before briefly stopping at the small kitchen garden.
In the kitchen, Their Majesties will meet chef Alex MacKay who cooks food for the local community and hosts employability programmes for young people.
In the offices, the King and Queen will view presentation boards depicting where it is hoped the enhanced Coronation Food Project hubs will be sited. Their Majesties will meet several Coronation Food Project supporters and people who currently use food larders and food banks.
Their Majesties will then meet representatives of the major UK supermarkets and food manufacturers who have agreed to join the newly created Food Alliance and hear about their efforts to reduce food waste. Also in attendance will be representatives of some charities which received fridges and freezers before Christmas through the £1million fund which was established in December 2022, which included a personal donation from His Majesty.
Marking the launch of the Coronation Food Project, Baroness Casey will say a few words and invite His Majesty to unveil a plaque to commemorate the visit. Their Majesties will be invited to join a group photo with supporters, staff, and volunteers.
Before departure, the King and Queen will wave off the four vans which they saw at the start of the engagement.