Restaurant tycoon Richard Caring has launched a campaign to hand out 80,000 free meals to children in need this Christmas.
The owner of The Ivy brasserie chain and his wife Patricia said their Food From The Heart campaign will help feed children in poverty across the UK in December and into 2021.
The nutritious meals will be cooked by volunteer chefs from Mr Caring's hospitality business empire, which also includes the Bill's restaurant chain, top-end London restaurants Scott's, Le Caprice and J Sheekey and the famous Annabel's private members' club.
Restaurant tycoon Richard Caring and his wife Patricia (pictured) said their Food From The Heart campaign will help feed children in poverty across the UK in December and into 2021
The selection of 15 meals on offer features cottage pie and vegetarian and vegan options, including meat-free lasagne and vegan macaroni and cheese.
The meals will be prepared fresh and then frozen in facilities across the UK. They will be delivered to children who have been identified as most in need in a nationwide survey by FareShare, the UK's largest food distribution charity.
Disadvantaged children across England – as well as youngsters in Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dublin – are set to benefit.
The scheme is being funded by Caring's private philanthropic foundation, The Caring Family Foundation, and run in partnership with FareShare and The Felix Project, a London-based food distribution charity.
Patricia Caring, co-founder of the Caring Family Foundation, said: 'As a mother of three young children, it is so important that we are doing everything we can to help children who are going hungry and make a positive impact on some of the devastating statistics surrounding child poverty.
'My husband and I feel incredibly passionate and proud to be launching the Food From The Heart campaign through the Caring Family Foundation with the support of FareShare and The Felix Project.'
The Carings are understood to have wanted to play a role in alleviating the disastrous impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on child food poverty.
Across the UK, 4.2 million children are classed as living in poverty, with more youngsters living in poverty than not in parts of London, Birmingham and Manchester.
In London, just 17 per cent of children attending state schools are known to be eligible to claim free school meals.
Following a campaign by footballer Marcus Rashford, the Government will spend £400 million on tackling child food poverty.
Following a campaign by footballer Marcus Rashford (pictured), the Government will spend £400 million on tackling child food poverty
The Carings launched their Caring Family Foundation in January this year to support projects in the UK and Brazil.
The charity focuses on providing grants to grassroots organisations whose work is most effective to those in need.
Since March, it has organised volunteers to produce and distribute more than a million meals nationally to NHS workers and vulnerable communities affected by the pandemic.
The Felix Project – founded in 2016 in memory of Felix Byam Shaw by his father, entrepreneur Justin Byam Shaw – distributes surplus food to people in need in London, while FareShare has more than 30 warehouses across the UK and works with 11,000 organisations including homeless hostels, school breakfast clubs, food banks, lunch clubs and hospices.'