The money was raised in a virtual banquet organised by food supplier to chefs and home cooks Belazu, which was attended by nearly 2,000 people online.
Diners were sent a box with all the ingredients they needed to cook with during the evening, and a weblink to join the virtual dining experience. Fresh produce and the delivery of boxes was organised by Belazu’s sister company, Wellocks at Home.
Host Henry Dimbleby led nine guest chefs and two entertainers through the three-and-a-half hour cookalong, whose funds will provide 60,000 meals for vulnerable families in need.
"Belazu has re-invented the concept of a fundraising dinner and brought a lot of joy to so many households during lockdown, creating a shared experience when so many of us feel isolated,” says Naomi Duncan, CEO of Chefs in Schools.
“Not only did the event raise an incredible amount of money for our work, it also raised awareness of the pressing need to get good quality, fresh food to children at home. We are so grateful to everyone who came together to make this happen in just a few short weeks.
“We can’t thank them enough for their time, donations and support."
The Belazu Foundation has been raising funds for food-related, educational projects that help disadvantaged individuals at home and abroad since 2003. Chefs in Schools is a charity that aims to place professional, restaurant-trained chefs in primary schools in order to transform their food, food culture and food education.
During lockdown, Chefs in Schools has created an emergency fund to deal with the crisis in which the number of households with children going hungry has doubled, leaving more than a fifth of families without access to enough food.