The East London Mosque in partnership with Islamic Relief UK is helping some of the most vulnerable people in East London during this winter. The initiative is part of Islamic Relief UK’s largest-ever nationwide winter food distribution.

As families within our community grapple with financial challenges amid the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, food and essential items are being distributed to 300 vulnerable families as of Monday (8 Jan). This effort aligns with a broader initiative led by Islamic Relief UK, engaging 28 partners nationwide to deliver food packs for families during one of the most challenging times of the year.

The UK is currently experiencing a record number of households relying on food banks. According to the Independent Food Aid Network, almost 90 percent of food banks have observed increased demand. Notably, food banks face challenges in meeting the escalating demand, even from employed individuals, including NHS staff and teachers.

The East London Mosque, through its extensive work with vulnerable individuals in the community, has witnessed the profound impact of the cost-of-living crisis on low-income families, victims of domestic abuse, individuals experiencing homelessness, as well as asylum seekers and refugees.

Junaid Ahmed, CEO of the East London Mosque, said: “The East London Mosque has witnessed the severe toll of the cost-of-living crisis on vulnerable local individuals and families. To assist our struggling neighbours this winter, we are proud to partner with Islamic Relief UK to provide essential food packs to 300 households severely impacted by current hardships. We consider such aid work an embodiment of the Islamic obligations to compassionately support people in need.”

Sufia Alam, representing the East London Mosque, emphasized, “We frequently encounter vulnerable families seeking support to survive. Since the onset of the pandemic, we have particularly seen individuals severely affected by rising food prices and fuel costs, including single-parent families and women survivors of domestic abuse. The winter food packs provide relief in the most challenging time of the year when individuals are forced to choose between heating their homes or having a meal. Our refugee communities also express gratitude for this invaluable support.”

Zia Salik, deputy director, of Islamic Relief UK said: “Winter is often the hardest time of the year for vulnerable people in society. But now with the cost-of-living crisis so brutally affecting many across the country, this time of the year has grown colder still. Even more people have been pushed into vulnerability and those already there pushed deeper into poverty. Many families now must choose between food and fuel, not being able to afford to keep their children both warm and fed.

“But despite this, hope is not frozen, and thanks to the amazing generosity of our community who still give what they can, even in the hardest of times when money is scarce, the days seem to be getting brighter. It’s only thanks to the community’s brilliant response that we’re able to launch this winter food drive to bring food to struggling families.
“East London Mosque is doing amazing work for the community and we are thankful to them for partnering with us and helping those in need."

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