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Reigatian helps combat holiday hunger

Throughout the pandemic, we have been blown away by the generosity of our community, but special thanks has to go to Cath D’Arcy (RGS 1984-86). Her support of the RGS We Care initiative – through her company, The Vegilantes – will feed 4,000 local families in need in the February 2021 half term.

In response to a Foodbank donation appeal, Cath reached out to say that she would like to help feed local children in the area through her company The Vegilantes. We were astounded when she said that she would donate and deliver 2,000 meals. Each meal contains two portions, resulting in 4,000 dinners for vulnerable families during half term.

 

We were all stuck inside during lockdown when the Free School Meal news broke. We talked about creating recipe cards and working with a local greengrocer to provide fresh fruit and vegetables to the schools local to us. I contacted our local council to try to coordinate something centrally, but the complexities of getting through all the red tape were prohibitive. So we decided – in true Vegilantes spirit – that we would do it ourselves! We put a call out on social media asking any schools who wanted our meals to get in touch. Word spread, and we have so far managed to deliver frozen meals to schools across London and as far afield as Oxfordshire and Cheshire. When I received the email from RGS We Care talking about the Loveworks Foodbank partnership, I thought it was a great way to give back to my old stomping ground as well.

Cath D’Arcy (RGS 1984-86)

 

On Friday 12 February, we delivered The Vegilantes food to six local primary schools: Salfords, Furzefield, Lime Tree, Dovers Green, Sandcross and to Loveworks. These meals will be distributed to families who are facing food poverty this half term.

Cath D’Arcy,  business partner Riley and an incredible development Chef, Sanjay, set up The Vegilantes in 2018. None of them were vegan but they were all foodies and passionate about food quality and nutrition. Having all lived and eaten their way around Asia, they were well aware of the limitless possibilities of plant-based eating. It was clear to them that the choices for those who weren’t experienced cooks was limited. So, they set out to create a range where plants were the hero, but quality, nutrition and taste were as good as – if not better than – the meat-based products available in the supermarkets (it helped that Sanjay has headed up several Michelin-starred kitchens!).

Two years of development, lots of products, tweaks and improvements, countless hours of packaging design and illustration, and in May 2020 they finally launched The Vegilantes nationwide with Morrisons. All handmade, easy-to-cook and with a focus on plant protein and vegetables, the initial six products, which included the A Z*nger (which fans say is as good as the KFC chicken original), were so successful that Morrisons asked for six more lines. This included an amazing spice-crusted steak that even hardened meat eaters love!

We cannot thank Cath, Riley and Sanjay enough for helping us to provide these meals to our community through the RGS We Care initiative.

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