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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Bill McLoughlin

Israel embassy teams up with food distribution charity the Felix Project to feed the homeless

The Israeli embassy in London has teamed up with a food distribution charity to feed the homeless in the run to International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

To mark the occasion as well as the embassy’s annual ‘Operation Dugo’ celebrations, 500 meals were donated to charity.

A team of officials from the Israeli Embassy was also sent down to help volunteer at The Felix Project in Park Royal.

“Operation Dugo was launched with the idea that no one should ever go hungry, and by teaming with such an incredible charity, we have seen this vision come to life for the day across the streets of London,” Deputy Ambassador Oren Marmorstein said.

The annual ‘Operation Dugo’ celebration pays tribute to the life of David ‘Dugo’ Leitner.

In 1945, at the age of 14, Mr Leitner and 60,000 other Jews were forced to leave Auschwitz-Birkenau and walk through for three days through the snow by Nazi soldiers. Exhausted and freezing, he said the thought of his mother’s cooking was the only thing that got him through the ordeal.

In 1949, he moved to Israel and tried falafel at a maret which brough back memories of his childhood. Every January, he eats falafel to mark his freedom and liberation.

Jane Byam Shaw, trustee and co-founder of The Felix Project, met the guests and said: “We were delighted to play a part in marking this poignant and sacred day and to welcome the team from the Israeli Embassy.

“We were very moved to hear the story of David Leitner’s survival and to understand the inspiration behind Dugo Day, which has grown into an annual event that resonates with our own mission to ensure that no-one should ever go hungry.

“The meals will be appreciated and enjoyed by all who receive them through our network of charity partners in London.”

The Felix Project was set up by former Evening Standard chairman Justin Byam Shaw in memory of his late son Felix.

The charity uses surplus food in London to tackle food poverty, transforming an environmental problem into a social solution.

It was due to the Evening Standard’s 2016 Food for London campaign and again in 2020 as a result of our award-winning Food For London Now campaign in partnership with our sister paper The Independent, which helped The Felix Project raise an extraordinary £12million and led to a quadrupling of its food redistribution.

The charity’s kitchen celebrated creating one million meals for the homeless last year. The Felix Kitchen opened in July 2021 in Tower Hamlets and takes surplus food from the depot next door and turns them into meals.

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