Volunteers from East London Mosque to feed local people during Ramadan

The East London Mosque, Pic: Nozrul Ahmed

Volunteers from the East London Mosque in Whitechapel will be feeding people twice a week during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which starts next week.

During Ramadan, which begins next week, Muslims do not eat between sunrise and sunset and volunteers from the Mosque will be feeding people who are struggling from the financial affects they have experienced over the past year from the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking to East London Lines, Anwar Mahmood, 43, who is part of the Mosque committee said: “I think it’s really important that we give back to the community, this month more than ever before, and especially at this time when a lot of people are struggling due to Covid.”

Worshippers have been signing up for volunteers to visit their home with food from the Mosque, which is one of the largest in London. The first visits will be within the next week.

“We’re going to split up into different groups to deliver in different areas of the borough, and we have already started preparing what we will put in the lunch boxes,” Mahmood said. “I’m bringing a few youngsters along so they can collect some more good deeds doing goodness for the community which is what this month is all about.”

Ali Akbar, 33, a worshipper at the Mosque who has signed up to receive meals, told East London Lines: “I’m really grateful to be honest. I was able to sign up on behalf of my wife as well, so these meals will help us out hugely.

“We’re just about managing to get by at the moment as I’m looking for a new job, so these meals twice a week will help me not having to worry about an extra expense, albeit for a little while.”

A report by charity Trust for London, shows that in-work poverty is rising during the coronavirus pandemic. Up to 74% of adults in poverty in London are in working families – up from 62% a decade ago.

Younger volunteers have come forward to help with the distribution of the meals over the next month. Hassan Ali, 20, a student at Queen Mary University in Mile End, said, “I only passed my driving test last year, so this year I wanted to actually put that to good use since I haven’t even been able to drive as much as I would have imagined at first.

“As I have finished with university for the year, I thought it would be great use of my time to help out and just feel like I have made even a little bit of a difference in someone’s life.”

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