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There With You: Business providing hundreds of meals daily for hospital staff across east London

PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 April 2020

A delivery of meals from Taj Foods for staff at Newham Hospital.  Picture: Taj Foods

A delivery of meals from Taj Foods for staff at Newham Hospital. Picture: Taj Foods

Taj Foods

A business is providing up to 300 meals a day for frontline hospital staff across east London during the coronavirus crisis.

A member of staff at Queen's Hospital with a meal donated by Taj Foods. Picture: Taj FoodsA member of staff at Queen's Hospital with a meal donated by Taj Foods. Picture: Taj Foods

Taj Foods, Woodford Green, is supplying vegetable meals of four to five courses for key workers at Queen’s, King George and Newham hospitals.

It manufactures and distributes a wide range of world foods and has been operating for 40 years.

The idea was the brainchild of Anil Solanki, who runs the business. His wife Geeta said: “We came up with the idea that we are in the food business and we can do something to help the frontline staff who are working so hard.”

Some of the meals are going to night shift staff and include vegetable curries and naan bread – food that can be put in the microwave and warmed up.

Anil and Geeta Solanki from Taj Foods, which is donating hundreds of meals a day to east London hospitals. Picture: Taj FoodsAnil and Geeta Solanki from Taj Foods, which is donating hundreds of meals a day to east London hospitals. Picture: Taj Foods

Geeta, who has been married to Anil for 35 years and is the company secretary, added: “After a long shift, they do not have time to cook meals.

“This is the least we can do. They are risking their lives to treat this invisible enemy.”

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On average, the company is getting between 250 and 300 meals out to the hospitals each day, split roughly between each one.

It set up a fundraising page for the community to donate towards their initiative and set a target of £5,000 – this has now been more than doubled.

Geeta said the hospitals have been full of gratitude for the meals.

Both King George and Queen’s Hospitals Charity, and Barts Health NHS trust, which runs Newham Hospital, have sent letters to Geeta thanking the company for the donations.

Michelle Fox, fundraising office co-ordinator for the former, said: “Your generous donation of daily meals has made a huge difference to all the staff’s wellbeing. As you can imagine, your donation was very well received.”

Barts Health volunteer team’s Eleanor Williamson wrote: “Generous gifts from donors like you provide the psychological and moral support needed to continue fighting against Covid-19.

“Your ongoing donation of delicious hot food and meals to Newham Hospital is a delight and very much appreciated by all the teams and hard-working staff.”

Geeta said they will continue to provide the meals for as long as they can, adding: “We are only a drop in the ocean. Everyone needs to come together and we are all one big family fighting this enemy.”


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