Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Luton Central Mosque donates to Luton Foodbank

BFTF was chuffed to hear that the Luton Central Mosque has undertaken a "Feed Your Neighbour" campaign to support local people in dire economic need.

The campaign was run by volunteers at the mosque who, together with help from the Imam, encouraged the congregation to donate am impressive amount of tinned and other non-perishable food.

Food collected by the good people of Luton Central Mosque

This was then given to the Luton Foodbank, a coalition of some 50 local organisations and many more volunteers committed to ensuring no-one goes hungry in Luton. And, make no mistake, people DO go hungry in Luton, often through no fault of their own. Here are two examples from the Luton Foodbank website :
"Anne-Marie and Danny were hit by benefits delays at the same time as Danny was off work with flu. With no sick pay finances got tight very quickly and they were faced with eviction as well as having no money for food. They resorted to borrowing a tin of soup from their neighbours to stop little Tia going hungry until they heard about the Foodbank. ‘I don’t know what we would have done next if it wasn’t for the foodbank’, says Danny."

"Ryan regularly skipped school because he could not face the embarrassment of having no money for lunch. On visiting his home to deliver a foodbank parcel, the school’s liaison officer discovered there was no food, except a little oats and milk. The mother’s purse was empty. The mother of two explained that her husband had left her and that the benefits were in his name. He had not been contributing towards child care since leaving and when she informed the Benefits Agency all benefits were stopped, including child benefit, because of her ‘change in circumstances’. The support worker estimated that it would take two to four months for the benefits to be re-assessed. "

Donated Food being given to the Luton Foodbank

Thr food was given to the Luton Foodbank at the Town Hall. Amongst other speakers, the Imam of the Luton Central Mosque thanked the volunteers for undertakng this action, adding people should be wary of being well-fed while their "neighbour to the side is hungry"

This is not the first time the Muslim community in Luton has acted to provide help for the most vulnerable in their town. The "Discover Islam" information centre in the town centre has been a designated drop-off point for the Luton Foodbank since 2012 and has donated a significant amount of food in its own right.

Nor is it the only issue on which the Muslim community in Luton has acted for the benefit of others, in 2010 the Medina Mosque became only the second Fairtrade mosque in the UK.

Nor is this kind of thing unique to Luton. Muslim organisations are helping foodbanks in Birmingham, Nelson, Blackburn, Harrow, Nottingham and , no doubt, many other locations.

It's all good stuff, and really needs to be publicised widely - both as a counter to the arguemnt of the far right that Muslims do not help wider society and also as an encouragement to the younger Muslim population to help and volunteer for this kind of social action.

1 comment:

  1. Rumi's Kitchen in Brent is another great example, feeding dozens of homeless at Cricklewood Mosque on Sundays