An initative designed to fight food poverty in the UK and provide hot meals to people in deprived communities is calling on the events industry to use the events they organise to give back to those in need.

Foodinate – founded by Caroline Stevenson – has provided 100,000 meals to those most in need, since its creation in 2016. Foodinate operates on a meal-for-a-meal basis. For example, in a restaurant, the restaurant selects a number of items on the menu, which they can “Foodinate”; when a customer buys that item, the restaurant donates £1 to Foodinate, which convert the donation in to a hot meal for a person currently experiencing homelessness in the area where the money was raised.

Having demonstrated its success in the restaurant sector, Foodinate now hopes to encourage the events industry to do the same and get involved.

For events, Foodinate could be applied in a number of ways – £1 could be added to the daily delegate rate, £1 could be added to a menu item by traders or £1 could be added to the cost of a hospitality package.

In 2018, Gary Neville, co-owner of GG Hospitality and former Manchester United footballer, signed up to Foodinate with GG Events and Catering, the events and catering venture. The partnership ensures every person attending a private event at any of the company’s venues, including Hotel Football and Manchester Cathedral, results in a meal for a person in need in the local community.

Neville said: “When we heard about the Foodinate scheme, we knew it was something we wanted our events and catering company to be involved with. Homelessness is a serious problem, so for our clients booking events through us to know they are making a positive difference in the city at the same time as holding their event, it’s a very special thing.”

Stevenson added: “When I first started working on Foodinate, I dreamt about what it would feel like to reach milestones like this. Providing 100,000 hot, nourishing meals for some of the hardest to reach individuals, in some of the most deprived communities across the UK. I’m so proud of the team and will be forever grateful to our dedicated partners for believing in this idea and making it happen with us. Unfortunately, with more than 13 million people in the UK living below the poverty line, our work has only just begun, and we have huge plans to take our impact to new heights.”

One of those plans is to take Foodinate to large-scale venues and events, including stadiums, music festivals and large sporting events.

Foodinate recently appointed Dan Schofield, who has previously held leadership roles at Manchester City and Manchester United Football Clubs, as well as the London 2012 Olympics and Tour de France, as new non-executive director to help make this happen.

Schofield, who is currently managing director of Pioneer Venue Solutions, is excited about Foodinate’s potential. He said: “As soon as I heard about Foodinate I knew I wanted to be involved and use my industry contacts to help Caroline and the team generate even more impact. Foodinate is such a simple but powerful message – for every person attending a ‘Foodinated’ event, a meal is provided for a person in need in the same community that the event takes place.”

Event suppliers can also back the initiative through the Foodinate Business Champions Club, enabling businesses to make a positive difference in their local communities.

To find out how you can Foodinate your events, or to find out how to become a member of the Foodinate Business Champions Club, contact Dan Schofield – dan@foodinate.co.uk