On Monday 6th March, on behalf of The Worshipful Company of Engineers Trust, Immediate Past Master Peter Blair-Fish attended the launch of the first Livery Food Initiative van.

The Livery Food Initiative is a partnership between the Livery Charity Chairs Group and City Harvest which collects food that is going to waste and delivers it to over 350 charities across London. The Livery Food Initiative provides funding to keep City Harvest vans running. The Initiative has raised nearly £150,000 from thirty Livery Companies, including the Engineers’ Company,  sufficient to keep one City Harvest van operating for three years.

At the event the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor, Alderman Nicholas Lyons, praised the initiative at a short ceremony outside Mansion House in Walbrook, accompanied by Sheriff Andrew Marsden. The Lord Mayor noted that “City Harvest shares an average of 58,000 meals worth of food each day.  Each of their 17 vans travels an average of 38 miles a day, making deliveries and collections, caring for approximately 89,000 people through over 375 charities.  In 2022, City Harvest delivered almost 14 million meals, saving 22,000 t of GHG emissions from being released into the environment. Those meals, worth £25 million in retail value, were delivered for free, enabling the recipient charities to use funds to provide care, counselling and training to help families thrive rather than survive”.  He then handed over the keys of a new Livery Food Initiative van to City Harvest.

Sarah Calcutt, CEO of City Harvest, has also advised “All our vans are diesel at the moment. We are about to trial some retrofitted solar technology … which will offset the power draw of the chiller units in the summer. As we progress through the year, we are adopting a strategy for sourcing dual fuel if possible. We’re very conscious that a diesel fleet isn’t going to be the answer for much longer!”