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Three cheers for Cambridge Fruit Company!

By 20th March 2021No Comments

Celebrating the first anniversary of food box donations to vulnerable families.

One year ago, as families across Cambridge were reeling from the impact of lockdown, something amazing happened.

Neil Bharadwa from Cambridge Fruit Company had switched from delivering to businesses to delivering to homes overnight and not only were people ordering boxes of fruit and veg for themselves, they also wanted to donate them.

Neil asked how to get these amazing boxes of fresh food to vulnerable people and was put in touch with Red Hen by Cambridge City Councillor Alex Collis. The first deliveries went out one year ago today, on March 20, 2020.


Screenshot of tweet from Red Hen saying thank you to Cambridge Fruit Company with photo of first fruit and veg boxes being assembled

Screenshot of a tweet saying thank you to Cambridge Fruit Company as they make deliveries of veg boxes around CB4

Over the coming months, Cambridge Fruit Company customers donated more than 1,000 boxes to Red Hen families. The company developed the Red Hen Box, adding milk and eggs and creating a child-friendly selection of food.

When Neil started working on his plans for Christmas, he made sure Red Hen families would have a good Christmas too. He set himself a target of 100 donations of Christmas boxes with turkey and trimmings including pigs in blankets, and of course, all the vegetables needed for the meal. He smashed his target – an incredible 166 boxes were bought!

He also gave £5 to Red Hen for every other Christmas box ordered.

Neil also helped Red Hen raise money – and he didn’t do it the easy way. He made himself suffer. A conversation about his dislike of grapefruit turned sour for him, but sweet for us when he was challenged to eat one. Neil said he was game for the challenge, if he could raise £500 for Red Hen.

Screenshot of tweet from Neil Bharadwa about fundraising challenge for Red Hen

Yes he did! £1,165 was the total and Neil was filmed eating grapefruit, drinking grapefruit juice, and even eating grapefruit marmalade.

We would like to say a huge thank you to Neil and his sister Nisha Bharadwa Ryles and all their customers for their generosity and support. They have made a huge difference to so many people’s lives this year and we were delighted to introduce them to HRH The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, during her virtual Royal Visit to us this week.

To donate a Red Hen food box to a vulnerable family, please visit

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