Kind-hearted members of Leicester’s Muslim community have donated a record amount of food during the Ramadan period – which will help local people in need benefit from more than 19,000 nutritious meals.It’s the sixth successive year the Islamic Society of Britain’s Eat’n’Meet Project and the LIA Relief Trust charity have supported FareShare East Midlands – and this time round, more than eight tonnes of pastas, rice, tinned foods, cereals, sugar, flour and cooking oils were donated to aid the fight against food poverty in the region.
“This wonderful gesture on behalf of Leicester’s Muslim community is greatly appreciated and will really make a difference to our work,” commented Simone Connolly, who directs FareShare’s operations in the East Midlands. “The food will directly benefit the growing number of people who struggling to feed their families – many of them in work. You really cannot underestimate the importance of generous acts like this. It has a huge impact.”
In Leicester City alone, more than 25,000 young people (5-17-year-olds) live in food poverty. So, too, do their families. Even more people in the wider county find it extremely difficult to feed themselves and their loved ones due to issues like low incomes and poor health.
Salma Ravat from the Islamic Society of Britain said: “The response we have had from the community in Leicester has been overwhelming. For the last few years, we have built awareness of this important area of work – and we have seen more and more members of the Muslim community understand the responsibilities they have to their neighbours, regardless of their colour or faith.”
During the month of Ramadan (which started on 16 May), Muslims fast from Dawn until sunset every day. They are encouraged to think of those less fortunate than themselves and provide food, and care, wherever they can.
In 2012, ISB’s Eat’n’Meet project partnered joined forces with FareShare East Midlands – in a bid to make a tangible difference in the local area.
And they certainly have: the 2018 collection provided three tonnes more food than 12 months earlier – enabling FareShare to distribute 19,000 meals, compared to the 11,000 that were available in 2017.
“We are proud to be involved with this wonderful initiative,” added Simone Connolly. “Not only have the Muslim community given us additional, high-quality foods, but it shows that care and compassion for those less fortunate crosses boundaries of faith, culture and creed. And that’s got to be a good thing for everyone.”