itsu to reopen kitchens for founder and volunteers to provide thousands of hot, healthy meals to London hospitals

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Having already donated £15,000 worth of food to NHS 20 hospitals including UCLH and St Thomas’, itsu has been working hard behind the scenes to reopen select kitchens exclusively for staff volunteers to create more free meals for hard working NHS staff.

Most itsu staff are now stuck at home on furlough (a temporary leave of absence due to economic conditions).  Dozens, including founder Julian Metcalfe OBE, are volunteering to prepare and deliver food from itsus in King’s Road and Regents Place.

Planned to take effect from the end of this week, itsu will be donating all food and paying for taxis for staff volunteers to get safely to and from its kitchens.

itsu founder and CEO Julian Metcalfe said: “After our first big donation of dinners to hospitals last week, we’ve been inundated with more requests for healthy meals from NHS staff along with requests from our own people wanting to volunteer their time.

“I have volunteered along with all of our senior team who are desperate to do our bit. Our plan is to focus on making one delicious hot dish – our Veggie Gyoza Udon – to keep things simple and effective whilst respecting the limitations of social distancing in our kitchens.

“itsu is borrowing extensively to pay staff at least 80% of their salary whilst on furlough but it is vital that the Government honours its promise to reimburse businesses for these costs.”