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COVID 19 Mutual Aid – Here is my story…

COVID 19 Mutual Aid – Here is my story…

Categories: Past Event Articles

Thursday May 07 2020

Having to work from home through Covid 19 has been life changing. I have been able to communicate for work, Quran classes as well as redecorating the house, all from the safety of my little office in the back of the house. Normally Ramadhan is a time for reflection but also giving to a local charity, but with the Lockdown, this had been made difficult.

As I scroll through various messages and texts at the end of the day, I notice a message about food banks and how many people use them. I knew of the work some do, but I can’t say exactly why, I always thought, my community doesn’t need food banks, we have enough.

That’s when , I saw, a request for support for halal food from
Christ the King food bank Beaumont Leys. My curiosity lead me to do some investigation. Why was a church Food bank asking for halal food. To say that I was blown away by the sheer numbers of Muslim families using the bank, was an understatement. All of the families are referred by the council or various other agencies.

People…

Who have lost jobs,
Who are refugees,
Who are self-isolating,
Who are on minimum wages,
Who are unemployed,
Who are furloughed.

This was an independent Foodbank based in a church supporting anybody and everybody who was referred. No discrimination as to the family background or religious persuasion. A quick phone call and an understanding of the need and the realisation that we needed a simple solution.

Leicester MEND working group members came up with frozen food idea, as it was easy to handle and deliver. With the team in action, and a few hiccups everything came together, even managed an actual van with frozen facility. With the support from local business men, Frozen World and Mr Burger, four weeks worth of burgers and nuggets were ready to deliver.

The humbling part was the delivery, Katie who runs the Foodbank with her husband and a band of merry volunteers were amazed at the response. She showed an empty freezer that had to to be filled. We filled it and needed more freezer space. Katy was so thankful and explained they were giving vegetarian options to the families and this didn’t feel right. The families often had children and so the burgers and nuggets would be a welcome addition to all the boxes they had prepared.

The challenge now is to understand how we can continue to support.

We need to understand that the affect of the pandemic is wide reaching and this need will continue.

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