This is perhaps the best news you will read today.
The hard work of professional chef Lewis Maclachlan of Empty Kitchens, Full Hearts (EKFH) who has been feeding thousands of people during the pandemic – which carries on today – has been recognised by the Prime Minister with a Point of Light Award.
Lewis set up the initiative to turn surplus restaurant ingredients into healthy meals for anyone who needs them in response to COVID-19 has received Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s daily Points of Light award.
He founded the organisation in April after restaurants were closed as a means of saving food from landfill while helping the community. With his team of professional chefs, they have supplied over 2,500 meals per day, producing packs including breakfast, lunch, dinner and treats, as well as running two daily hot food services from Leith Theatre, known as ‘Lunchtime on Leith’ and ‘Teatime at the Theatre.’ In total, more than 100 tonnes of food has been saved from landfill and turned into over 350,000 meals.
In a personal letter to Lewis, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “By setting up Empty Kitchens, Full Hearts, you have salvaged food destined for waste and provided thousands of meals to some of the most vulnerable communities in Edinburgh.
“Alongside your team of chefs, you are providing an astonishing 2,500 meals a day. To do this at the same time as completing your studies is a fantastic achievement.”
Lewis said:“At a time when so many are doing so much good it’s great for the work of Empty Kitchens, Full Hearts’ volunteers to be noted as a ‘Point of Light’. It’s fitting how poignant the title is as I believe we have been a source of strength and warmth for both our clients, volunteers and those who’ve taken comfort in knowing that we are trying to nudge the baseline of society in a better direction.
“The award’s acknowledgement of this work can only strengthen the argument that we have very serious issues in our communities around access to food and face up to the fact the current system does not defend everyone’s right to food. As an organisation our goal is redundancy or nationalisation so I ask anyone in a position to help us secure our nations’ right to food to reach out and work with us.”
The Prime Minister’s UK daily Points of Light award was first launched in April 2014 to recognise outstanding individuals making a difference where they live. Lewis is the 1545th person to be recognised.