Creating Pathways to Progress: Citi supports #FoodforLondon
By Rachael Barber, Head of Community Development, EMEA September 21, 2016 08:45 AM
The world’s top 100 cities – London among them -- will generate 35% of global economic growth over the next ten years, yet the benefits of that growth are not evenly distributed. As a result of this economic realty, large urban centres face certain issues and challenges that must be addressed to create a more equitable future for all of their residents. Prominent among these issues are food waste and food poverty, which have negative impacts on the health and wellbeing of Londoners as well as the environment we all share.
At Citi, we’re partnering with the Evening Standard, London Community Foundation and the Felix Project to help people and communities come to grips with this pressing need. This partnership gives us a unique opportunity to play a critical role in making real progress on these critical societal issues. Most importantly, we fulfil our broader mission of enabling economic growth and progress by having a positive impact on the lives of all Londoners.
The problem of food insecurity is not unique to London. Citi and the Citi Foundation are already engaged in the provision of funding and volunteer support to initiatives in New York, Madrid and Sao Paulo, to cite just a few examples. In New York, Citi Community Development has long-developed ongoing partnerships with the Food Bank for New York City and City Harvest, both top-flight organizations working creatively to tackle food and financial poverty. We look forward to sharing this learning and experience more broadly, but ultimately every city must develop unique solutions to its own unique set of challenges.
28% of London’s population – approximately 2.2 million people -- population lives in poverty. Over 500,000 Londoners are believed to be living with food insecurity. The Felix Project will directly support these individuals by collecting surplus food from food suppliers and distributing it to local charities, so they can provide healthy meals for their clients.
In supporting the Felix Project in London, we see a great opportunity to engage young people in the future of urban centres like London, which depend on creating positive economic outcomes for young people and harnessing their creativity, drive and passion to forge a fairer urban future. That approach is central to the Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress initiative, which prepares urban youth to thrive in today's economy. Citi’s financial and volunteer support will help young Londoners by providing them with the training and support they need to qualify for the jobs created as the Felix Project scales up its operations across the capital.
We’re extremely excited to play a key part in the pioneering work of the Felix Project. And we’re excited about the potential to create a sustainable solution to address the seemingly intractable challenges of food waste and food poverty. We’re proud to support young Londoners as they learn to rely on their own boundless energy, enthusiasm and motivation to make a better life for themselves and for the city they live in.