Coronavirus Appeal With Leon Restaurants Will Supply 6,000 Meals a Day
by Richard Vines | Bloomberg | April 9, 2020
The actor Damian Lewis initiated a campaign with the Leon healthy fast-food group to raise £1 million ($1.2 million) to feed National Health Service workers partly to overcome a feeling of helplessness he felt under lockdown.
The FeedNHS campaign, in alliance with Leon co-founder and chief executive John Vincent, is currently serving about 5,200 meals a day to critical-care workers at London hospitals and aims to reach its initial goal of 6,000 daily meals sometime next week. The campaign has support from restaurant groups including Wasabi, Tortilla, Peach Pubs, Rosa’s Thai, Hop, Pizza Pilgrims, Franco Manca, Farmer J, Tossed, Haché, Abokado, Dishoom and Nusa Kitchen.
“Helen (McCrory), my wife, and I have friends who are in quite senior positions in the NHS and the clarion call kept coming from everybody that it was difficult to get fed during the day and do you have any influence?” said Lewis, whose awards include an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his performance as Nicholas Brody in the TV series “Homeland.” Most recently he’s starred as a hedge fund manager in “Billions.”
Lewis and McCrory, who appeared in the Harry Potter movies and “Peaky Blinders,” are in touch with Vincent daily after reaching out via a mutual connection. The aim is simple, Lewis says:
“When you have done four hours straight, working ventilators in PPE (personal protective equipment) gear, you can walk out and someone will hand you a hot, healthy meal,” he said. “We all want to do something that can help. Staying at home is an odd feeling, like being under house arrest, feels cowardly, oddly, even though it is the most important thing you can do.”
Lewis said he’s been experiencing a range of emotions during the coronavirus lockdown in a telephone interview from his home in Suffolk, in the east of England: