A single mother who suffers from depression today spoke about how food donations from The Felix Project have stopped her and her son from going hungry.
Alla Shkurat, whose son Samuel is 11, previously bought cheap, unhealthy food from the reduced section. “I used to just go shopping at the end of the day. But even then, some of it was too expensive,” she said.
Originally from Ukraine, Alla, 47, found herself on the breadline after she and her partner split up four years ago. Forced to live in rented basements and B&Bs, she sank into a debilitating depression and lost her small hairdressing business in Leytonstone, leaving her destitute.
But two years ago, she came to the Vineyard Community Centre in Richmond for Christmas, and the discovery was life-changing. Since then Alla has been picking up fresh food from the charity centre, delivered by The Felix Project, several times a week.
Help a Hungry Child: The Evening Standard Christmas campaign with The Felix Project
“It has been an absolute lifeline in the kind of food I can provide for my son. Yoghurt or milk or bread, or onions, cucumber, tomatoes, we eat so differently now.”
Alla said knowing she can rely on Felix food has helped her recovery. “My health has drastically improved and I’ve lost 5kg. It has just really helped me emotionally and I’ve become stronger here.”
She added: “It’s like a family here. Everyone has an incredible heart here. I feel already that I’m starting to move on from my separation.”
Alla now volunteers at the Vineyard, cutting hair once a week. “I can’t imagine what I would have done without this centre.”
Frank Lampard, Daisy Lowe, Jon Hamm, Vince Cable and a host of other stars will join Evening Standard and Independent journalists on Thursday to host our first charity telethon.
Readers are invited to call 0800 610 1172 and donate to our Help a Hungry Child Christmas appeal in support of The Felix Project. It will run from 8am to 8pm.