The Livery Kitchen Initiative

The Trustees of the Charitable Trust have received an update on the Livery Kitchen Initiative (LKI). It is being supported by 45 Livery companies, individuals and other organisations led by the Worshipful Company of Drapers and the Trust pleased to contribute to this Livery response to the COVID crisis.   By way of a reminder, the Initiative is delivering individually prepared meals for both the NHS, in four Barts Health NHS Trust hospitals, and 13 communities in East London in partnership with City Harvest.  Over 60,000 meals have been prepared since mid-April by kitchens at the Grocers’, Drapers’, Fishmongers’, Merchant Taylors’ and Party Ingredients.  See The Drapers - Thank you.

In response to the current challenge, 2,100 LKI meals will be delivered to the Royal London, Newham and Whipps Cross University hospitals each week until Fri 12th March.   In addition, 2000 LKI meals a week will be provided to communities in East London, in support of City Harvest ( ), until the end of May.  This will continue as planned.

The Royal London Hospital is bearing the brunt of responsibility for managing the more serious COVID hospital admissions within the Barts Health NHS Trust in East London.  At the time of writing there are over 140 COVID patients in the hospital on the 14th and 15th floors, and numbers continue to rise.  This Unit has, with the permission of Her Majesty the Queen, been named the Queen Elizabeth Unit. The increase in cases is well beyond what the Royal London has ever seen in peacetime and the Military Assistance to Civil Authority (MACA) is now co-ordinating the induction of 40 soldiers to assist in the effort from within the hospital.

Unlike the initial viral surge in the Spring last year, there are few if any donations of consumable goods to NHS staff.  The LKI been asked to provide a weekly welfare refreshment pack (ice creams, drinks, chocolate, crisps, fruit (gratefully provided by the Fruiters’) nutrition bars and other such goodies) to help staff both physically cool down as well as recover their energy as they come out of full PPE after their 12+ hour shifts.  The first of these packs was delivered on 11th January and will be delivered every Monday for the next eight weeks.

With meal production between the Grocers’, Drapers’ and Fishmongers’ kitchens now at 4,100 meals per week, there is little capacity for an increase in production, should one or more kitchen go down.  Happily, ‘Party Ingredients’ has kindly agreed to re-join the LKI and will shortly help prepare two weeks’ worth of a frozen reserve (8,200 meals) which will be stored in their capacious freezer.

The Hackney Carriage Drivers are back delivering chefs, kitchen porters and operational staff to Halls, helping them avoid public transport whilst reducing the risk of a kitchen having to close and isolate.

Finally, a Livery Kitchens’ Cookbook will be available later in the Spring.  As the Drapers’ Company is financing its production, all proceeds will go back into the LKI.  Please follow this link which allows people to pre-order a copy and hope that our Freemen will support this fund-raising appeal. See the Livery Kitchen Flyer.


Brenda Griffiths
Chair, Company of Nurses Charitable Trust