Sunday 5 April 2020 5:24 pm

Coronavirus: Former F1 chief Ron Dennis donates £1m for NHS staff meals

Former McLaren F1 boss Ron Dennis has launched a major initiative to serve 1m free meals to frontline NHS workers.

The multimillionaire motor racing mogul has pledged more than £1m to provide meals for medical staff across the country as they battle the coronavirus pandemic.

Read more: Just 2,000 frontline NHS England staff have had coronavirus tests

The food will be delivered to intensive care care staff, anaesthetic teams and A&E workers who are unable to leave their clinical areas during their 12-hour shifts — a policy adopted by all Covid-19 designated hospitals.

The project, dubbed Salute The NHS, allows medical staff to stay close to wards at all times without having to change out of protective clothing.

Food deliveries, which will be carried out by courier firm Yodel, will begin tomorrow starting at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. The service will then be extended to Great Ormond Street and other locations across the country.

The meals will be made using ingredients supplied by Tesco and prepared by Absolute Taste.

They will include so-called boost packs for critical staff either to eat during their shift or take long at the end of a gruelling day, as well as home packs delivered to key NHS workers who are infected and self-isolating.

Example dishes include Keralan veggie curry with wholegrain rice and lean beef chilli with veggie rice.

“This is a time when all of us, individuals and businesses alike, need to stand up and be counted in the effort to combat Covid-19. We’re all in this together,” Dennis said.

“I am delighted to be leading this initiative to help ensure that vital NHS workers have nutritious meals while they work every hour in this fight. It means they have one less thing to worry about. We have called this SalutetheNHS.org because I think we are all in awe of the work they are doing to save lives.”

The project is also working with NHS Charities Together, while other partners include law firm Withers, creative consultancy Hunter Design and communications firm Maitland/AMO.

Read more: Coronavirus: ‘Green shoots’ starting to show, says NHS boss

Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis said: “Ensuring families have access to the shopping essentials they need, safely, has been our priority over the last few weeks, and so we’re pleased to now be able to help front line NHS workers by donating food and ingredients to provide them with 1m meals through SalutetheNHS.org.”

The Dennis family is donating £1m to seed fund the initiative through the Dream Chasing Foundation and has pledged a further £500,000 in match-funding.

Main image credit: Getty

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