Bristol’s first Anti Banquet raises £100,000 for food charities

Date: March 11, 2024
Sweet projects sponsored the first Anti Banquet Charity Dinner in Bristol
Sweet projects sponsored the first Anti Banquet Charity Dinner in Bristol

An alternative take on the fundraising dinner, which saw Bristol’s CEO’s cooking and serving dinner to an array of guests, has raised more than £100,000 for charities across the region, focused on supporting those facing or dealing with food poverty.

Funds raised before, during and after the Anti Banquet event went to the Bristol Local Food Fund, a volunteer-led organisation that tackles food insecurity by supporting community food projects across the city.

Guiding the CEO’s in the kitchen were a number of celebrated chefs, including Josh Eggleton, Peter Sanchez-Iglesias, Toby Gritten, Ben Harvey, Hannah Catley, Sam Elliot, Jude Kereama and Sunday Brunch’s Simon Rimmer, who all volunteered their time to raise money for a great cause. 

Gareth Sweet, CEO of Sweet Projects said: “What a fantastic night – it was brilliant to see the great and good of Bristol all coming together for an amazing cause, supporting the Bristol Local Food Fund.”

“It was all happening in the kitchen,” added Gareth who brought his fellow Directors along to help out, “Working alongside people like Josh Eggleton, Ben Harvey and Simon Rimmer too, helping prepare and cook the food. I’m just glad my dish was a cold one!”

“We’re so pleased to be able to support the Anti Banquet, which has flipped the traditional ‘fundraising dinner’ on its head. It’s a privilege to be able to donate tables, so more people who never usually come to events like this can attend, while raising money to support thousands of families across the communities we live and work in.”

The unique event saw hundreds of guests from teams across Sweet Projects, other regional businesses, local charities, and public sector teams enjoy a night of entertainment, food and fun, while their bosses serve them as part of the kitchen or front of house staff.

The sold-out night had incredible support from businesses across the South West, including sponsors Sweet Projects, Yeo Valley, First Bus, Wring Group, Bristol Beer Factory and Google Cloud as well as further local organisations that generously donated to a sell-out raffle, which raised an additional £4,500 – including Artist Residence, Bianchis Group and Bristol Beer Factory.

Michael Lloyd-Jones, founder of the Bristol Local Food Fund said: “What a night! An enormous thank you to the entire team, led by Josh Eggleton, who made the Anti Banquet event happen at Ashton Gate Stadium. All the funds raised will be distributed to community food projects in Bristol that are working to tackle food insecurity, and support food justice. This support has never been more needed.”

At least one in 12 households in Bristol have experienced food insecurity in the past year, and with the money raised from the Anti Banquet, BLFF will be awarding the funds through a Citizen’s Panel made up of Bristolians who have lived experience of food insecurity. 

Organiser Josh Eggleton said: “This money will make a real difference to the lives of Bristol’s most vulnerable people and we’re so thankful for everyone that came out in support of the cause. The CEOs were great sports behind the scenes in the kitchen as well as joining the front of house team serving the tables. We’d love to inspire other cities to do the same.”

Click on the links to find out more about the Bristol Food Fund and the Anti Banquet.