On Saturday 8 May, Islamic Relief UK partnered with Newham Community Project food bank to provide 500 food packs to international students and their families in London, who have been struggling financially during Covid-19.
Food packs with big portions of items such as tinned tomatoes, chickpeas, lentils, tea bags and biscuits were given to over 700 students and nearly 70 students with families.
Many of the students lost their part time jobs due the pandemic and have not been entitled to any financial support from the Government, making paying for food, rent and university fees a huge struggle.
As the holy month of Ramadan comes to a close, Islamic Relief UK is hopeful that the food will also provide some of the Muslim families in London a more comfortable Eid-Al-Fitr (Festival marking the end of Ramadan, 12 – 13 May).
The distribution makes up one of three that happened with Islamic Relief UK partners over the last few days (Masjid Al Falaah mosque, Birmingham on Friday and Saturday and in Liverpool via Liverpool Football Club and mosques on Monday).
Elyas Ismail, organiser, Newham Community Project said:
“We have been helping international students from our food bank for the past year since the first lockdown, and a lot of them have lost their work, they rely on part-time work to pay for fees for university, rent and other costs and are not entitled to any Government help or financial support, so we had to step in. We now support 2,500 people a week.
“We have had fantastic support from Islamic relief UK to help distribute food. Without the support from them and other charities, it would be very difficult to carry on.”
Abdulla Almamun, UK Programmes Coordinator for Islamic Relief UK Said:
“We saw huge queues this weekend of vulnerable families in urgent need of food in Newham and we shouldn’t be seeing this in the UK. Covid-19 has driven families deeper into poverty and international students who are not entitled to any financial support have been hard hit.
“The Newham community project is a life line for desperate families and is doing amazing work during this very difficult time. Islamic Relief UK is proud to have partnered with the project to help some of the most vulnerable in London.”