The Food Chain's CEO Siobhan Lanigan (left) and patron Jay Rayner (right) with Attitude Publisher Darren Styles at the Attitude Pride Awards in London on Friday (5 July).
A London-based food charity helping people living with HIV at times of crisis is at risk of closure following a shortfall in funding.
The Food Chain, a 30 year-old organisation, depends entirely on charitable income and has a short-term need for £40,000 and a medium-term need for £100,000 if it is to survive.
The Attitude Magazine Foundation donated £2,500 to the charity earlier this year, and had already pledged to deliver a further £7,500 from the Attitude Awards event at the Camden Roundhouse in October.
But Foundation Chairman and Attitude publisher Darren Styles OBE says it’s imperative The Food Chain lives long enough to collect on that promise, calling on readers for support to help raise a further £40,000.
“There’s a lot of noise around the involvement of corporates in LGBTQ events right now, regardless of the fact it’s their money and engagement that enables Pride events to happen and Attitude magazine to survive when for years there has been a move away from paid-for content.
"But this is a chance for individuals to step forward and take the chance to make a difference, to make the connection between giving a little and achieving a lot.
“The Attitude team has visited The Food Chain, sat among the people and families benefitting from the simplest, kindest services you could imagine – companionship, an understanding of nutrition and basic kitchen skills, a grocery delivery every week that would otherwise be beyond reach.
"This positive impact on diet saves lives. That’s why we made the commitment we did. But now we all need to help. And we’ll be asking our readers on every channel.”
A new GoFundMe campaign is calling on all friends, allies, supporters and members of the public to Save The Food Chain and is now live here.
One person supported by the charity say of its work: “The Food Chain is a life saver, when you really need it, they are there. It’s not just food. You come here and you get kindness, support. Everything.”
Another adds: “The hospital referred me. I was scared that I was going to die. They kept telling me that I was going to be OK and supported me. When I finished service, I became a volunteer. The Food Chain makes me so happy.”
Speaking to Attitude at the Attitude Pride Awards in London on Friday, journalist, writer and broadcaster Jay Rayner, proud Patron of The Food Chain, called on everyone to help in any way they can.
"The food chain is a small but vital charity which saves people's lives. It gives nutritional advice and support to people who are HIV positive across London in moments of crisis.
"It changes lives. It does an enormous amount of work on small resources and it needs to survive. Here were are on the eve of Pride in London and it's got a funding crisis. The Food Chain has to survive."
CEO of The Food Chain, Siobhán Lanigan says: “At a time when London has signed up as a Fast Track City with a stated aim to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of those living with HIV in London, the closure of The Food Chain would be a devastating blow for the people in most need.
"There is nowhere else they can go to get emergency food and nutrition support. We are calling on everyone who cares about the plight of people who are hungry and in need to help us save The Food Chain.”