Last month, I was invited to speak at an event at Amazon’s London headquarters which showcased many of the fantastic things Amazon is doing to drive positive social and environmental change in the UK. We are so lucky at The Felix Project to have such a brilliant, and multi-faceted, partnership with Amazon. From helping to reduce food waste with Amazon Fresh, to having amazing support from Amazon Logistics and their network of Delivery Service Partners and drivers, to the many smiling Amazon colleagues we see volunteering in our depots – we seem to have connected with so many parts of the Amazon family.
The Felix Project: Fighting London’s Hunger Crisis
Right now, 1.2 million adults in London are going hungry. The Felix Project has two very simple goals – to ensure no good food is wasted and no Londoner goes hungry. We rescue perfectly edible and tasty food that would otherwise have gone to waste and give it to around 1,000 community groups across the Capital, helping those experiencing food insecurity, including foodbanks, homeless shelters, domestic violence refuges and primary schools.
In 2022, we rescued over 12,100 tonnes of food from the food industry, bringing it in to one of our four depots in London to be sorted and sent to those in need. We delivered the equivalent of 29 million meals to incredible charities in every single London borough – that is a huge logistical operation and to achieve this scale we need a lot of help and support. Who better to offer that logistical know how than one of the world’s most well-known delivery companies?
Amazon has been amazing since we started working in collaboration 18 months ago. Their work behind the scenes to help us improve and hone our systems has been vital. At a time when the cost of living crisis meant our operating costs were spiralling – going up by around 25% - Amazon has helped us to streamline and innovate our deliveries, ensuring we keep these increased costs to a minimum.
From expertise to resources: How Amazon is supporting The Felix Project
I thoroughly enjoyed attending the event last month, it was such a great showcase of the work Amazon does to support community organisations, such as The Felix Project. I was delighted to be joined on stage by the amazing Ingrid Iradukunda from Amazon Logistics, who talked about how our journey began when she first volunteered with us during lockdown. After just a few shifts, Ingrid could see how her logistics expertise could be put to use to help us improve processes. This led to her getting more colleagues and other parts of the Amazon family involved to use their skills to be a force for good with Felix.
Examples include Amazon helping us to transport meals to our network of community organisations through its pro bono logistic programme. Since 2022, Amazon’s network of Delivery Service Partners and their drivers have contributed over 9,000 hours of their time, distributing an incredible 6.4 million items of food to those in need - that’s a huge chunk of what we did in total last year.
In addition, Amazon employees regularly volunteer at our Poplar and Deptford sites in our warehouses and kitchen. Since the beginning of 2023, there have been over 70 volunteers, contributing around 450 hours – huge numbers and without this support we would not be able to operate at the scale we do.
Finally, Amazon Fresh Stores and depots donate a huge volume of high quality food to The Felix Project – not only does this help the stores to reduce waste, it means we are given some truly delicious food. Since we started working together, the team has donated millions of meals from across their London stores which has helped to prevent children and adults across London from going hungry.
Over the past year, our collaboration with Amazon has been incredibly beneficial and we are both committed to growing our relationship and helping to tackle the food crisis across London. We believe there is a long and bright future for our two organisations to work together to deliver significant environmental and social impact. Thank you, Amazonians!