Sometimes, life’s harsher realities affect the hearts and minds of the young more than others who find the stories of hunger in children further from their own lives. Felix Byam Shaw’s compassion developed for other young boys when he found out they did not have necessary comforts of life — such as the regular meals that some of us take for granted. Renault explains: “In particular, after he played in a football match and discovered that none of the opposing team of 10-year-old boys from South London had anything to eat that day.”
It follows that a charity in Felix Shaw’s memory changes things for the young and hungry — and others most in need. The Felix Project reflects care for the young, vulnerable, and all of us on another level. The Felix Project delivers all that nutritious food in the Kangoo Van Z.E. — yes, in emissions-free electric delivery vans. Sometimes, in fact too many times, the right efforts can still offer collateral damage to the public. This is not one of those murky cases.
The Felix Project and Renault explain, “An estimated 2 million people in the UK are malnourished. 500 thousand people rely on food banks. 223,000 tonnes of edible food surplus every year in the UK. Only 7% of this figure reaches the people who need it.” The Felix Project provides the link between food suppliers who have surplus food and charities serving vulnerable people who need it the most. The issue is not a food shortage. The issue is the distribution of that food.
CleanTechnica hopes this refreshing example of a charitable organization using electric vehicles to help people get food reaches many deaf ears and sets an example of a level of purity in all directions. Renault brings to mind clearer air, emissions-free quiet technology in travel. How wonderful that it also will increase the environmental scope of action and activism by collaborating to share the food and combat food waste.
Vincent Tourette, Managing Director, Groupe Renault UK, said: “We are delighted to support The Felix Project in its invaluable work by providing an all-electric vehicle which perfectly fits their needs. The Kangoo Van Z.E.’s low running costs and its exemption from the London Congestion Charge will allow the charity to spend its money where it is needed. Its impressive range will allow it to keep working, delivering food without having to stop and charge up, and its quiet running and zero emissions will be appreciated by people local to the collection and deliveries.”
Renault press continues: “The Felix Project is using the all-electric van in its work to reduce food waste and food poverty across London. The award-winning Kangoo Van Z.E. forms a valuable part of the Felix Project fleet, which collects over 10 tonnes of food a week from supermarkets, wholesalers and other suppliers that is fresh and nutritious, but which cannot be sold for various reasons, and distributes it free of charge to charities throughout the capital. These charities then provide meals, snacks or food parcels to their clients, who include elderly or homeless people, those with mental health issues, refugees, and asylum seekers.
“The addition of the Kangoo Van Z.E. comes at a particularly busy time for the Felix Project, coinciding with the launch of its ‘Help a Hungry Child’ campaign – a new programme in primary schools to help channel food directly to those young children and their families who are in the greatest need. The initiative aims to ensure that no child in any school supported by The Felix Project ever goes to bed hungry. At the end of the school day, children and their parents or guardians will be guided to a welcoming Felix ‘market stall’ and be able to fill a Felix bag with a healthy and delicious selection of food to take home. Based at the charity’s Central London depot, the Kangoo Van Z.E. is proving the perfect vehicle for The Felix Project. Being exempt from the London Congestion Charge and without incurring the often high fuel costs that are associated with stop/start driving in a city, the Kangoo Van Z.E. is saving the charity a significant amount compared with running an equivalent-sized van with a conventional combustion engine.”
Annie Elkins, Project Co-ordinator, said: “Our drivers really like the Kangoo Van Z.E. because it’s so quiet and relaxing to drive. It’s easier to maneuver and park in narrow streets than the larger vans we use and, of course, there will be a huge saving in diesel. It’s absolutely amazing to have this support from Renault UK, and this electric vehicle fits in with our messages about protecting the environment by reducing waste and using nutritious food rather than throwing it into landfill.”