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(Embargoed until 05/05/2015)

Councillor Roxanne Mashari Launches Sufra NW London’s #FoodParcelChallenge & Brent Anti-Poverty Alliance

BRENT – Lead Member for Employment & Skills, Councillor Roxanne Mashari, is launching Sufra NW London’s #FoodParcelChallenge this week, to raise awareness of food poverty in Brent and fundraise for the charity’s food bank. Over the last year, Sufra NW London has provided emergency food aid to 3,858 people in Brent.

“Food poverty is a tragedy that afflicts thousands of people in Brent, where the cost of housing and everyday living expenses exceed the wages of so many in low-paid work. We are very pleased to have the support of Councillor Roxanne Mashari who launches our #FoodParcelChallenge alongside her campaign to push local businesses to adopt the London Living Wage,” said Mohammed Mamdani, Director of Sufra NW London.

The #FoodParcelChallenge invites members of the public to register with Sufra NW London to receive a typical Food Bank parcel, and live exclusively on its contents for 5 days between Monday 25 May 2015 and Friday 29 May 2015. Alongside the challenge, participants will collect sponsorship and raise funds to support local people living in poverty.

At the end of the challenge week, Councillor Roxanne Mashari will convene an inaugural meeting of Brent’s Anti-Poverty Alliance, which will bring together national and local representatives from the private, public and voluntary sectors to discuss how we can collectively tackle poverty in Brent. By facilitating this new multi-sector partnership, Brent Anti-Poverty Alliance will seek to implement a programme of activities that make a tangible difference to the lives of local residents.

On Saturday 30 May, Sufra NW London will invite participants of the #FoodParcelChallenge and local residents of St. Raphael’s Estate, one of the most deprived neighbourhoods in Brent, to a Big Lunch, sponsored by Halifax.

“The increase in food bank usage across Brent is a cause for alarm. DWP delays, sanction targets, low pay and a vindictive media narrative about people experiencing poverty has created a toxic and depressing combination for many of our neighbours. The #FoodParcelChallenge is a sobering reminder of the reality of families facing food poverty and a chance for us to show solidarity with families facing hardship,” said Councillor Roxanne Mashari.

To sponsor Councillor Roxanne Mashari, use the following link:

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/RoxanneMashari

To sign up for the campaign, use the following link:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/foodparcelchallenge-tickets-16170103214

For media enquiries, please contact Mohammed S Mamdani on 020 3441 1335 or email mohammed@sufra-nwlondon.org.uk.

[END]

 


 

 

(Embargoed until 25/11/2014)

Making Christmas Special for Every Child in Brent

BRENT – During December 2014, Sufra NW London will be distributing over 100 Christmas presents to families with children who are referred to the charity’s Food bank.

“Christmas is the busiest time of the year at Sufra NW London. Last December, over 500 people turned to the Food Bank because they could not afford the cost of food alongside day to day essentials like housing and utility bills. For those families referred to us, Christmas presents are an unaffordable luxury. We want to make sure that every child in the community can celebrate the festive season,” said Mohammed Mamdani, Director of Sufra NW London.

The Christmas presents have been sponsored by members of the public, following the launch of an online appeal by the charity last month. Daniels Estate Agents has supported the appeal by offering to match every donation, £1 for £1.

“We are proud to be supporting Sufra NW London once again, with this heart-warming appeal. In particular, we would like to send out best wishes to all the volunteers who will be working over Christmas to help those who have fallen on hard times,” said Francis Henry, Daniels Estate Agents.

The presents will be wrapped by school children at Mitchell Brook Primary School on Thursday 27 November 2014.

“Mitchell Brook is very pleased to work in partnership with Sufra Food Bank. By supporting the Food Bank our children are able to appreciate the value of ‘giving back’ to the local community. The school is excited about developing a long-term partnership with Sufra Food Bank and creating further opportunities for Mitchell Brook pupils to support the local community,” said Rachel Clarke, Assistant Head of Mitchell Brook Primary School.

Sufra NW London is appealing to well-wishers and members of the community to reach its fundraising target of £1,000. Donations can be made online at: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/christmas

In the run up to Christmas, the Food Bank has been overwhelmed by generous food donations from the public, including collections at local universities, companies and Brent Council. However, food stocks remain very low due to high demand, and we are urgently requesting donations of tinned fruit and vegetables, long-life milk and pasta sauce.

For media enquiries, please contact Mohammed S Mamdani on 020 3441 1335 or email mohammed@sufra-nwlondon.org.uk.

[END]

Notes to the Editor:

1)    Sufra NW London is a community food bank and kitchen (Registered Charity No. 1151911) based in the London Borough of Brent. The Food Bank is open on Wednesdays and Sundays from 12pm to 3pm. Last year the charity collected and distributed 46 tonnes of food, supporting 3,483 people.

2)    For more information, please visit www.sufra-nwlondon.org.uk.

3)    The charity is led by a consortium of charities and organisations who have pledged core funding of up to £50,000 for the next 3 years. These include: Al-Mizan Charitable Trust, Beta Charitable Trust, Battlers Well Foundation and the Islamic Unity Society.

 

 


 

(Embargoed till 15/7/14)

Harrow Muslims on Target to Raise 5 Tonnes of Food this Ramadan for Local Food Bank

Worshippers at Harrow Central Mosque have been collecting food donations during Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting, in aid of Sufra NW London’s Food Bank, which provided emergency food to 3,483 people last year.

“Over 18,000 children in Brent and Harrow live in extreme poverty and many families are unable to meet the cost of basic food items. This week we provided food aid to a young woman with a 27 day old baby, who was living on black tea, and wrapping her newborn in bed-sheets because she could not afford nappies. This is the reality of poverty in our community,” said Mohammed Mamdani, Director of Sufra NW London.

During Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to dusk, avoiding food and water throughout the day. After sunset, Muslims break their fast and visit the mosque for special night prayers. For many mosques, it is the busiest time of the year.

“We are delighted to be supporting the excellent work that Sufra carries out,” said Mohammed Rahman, Trustee of Harrow Central Mosque. “Ramadan is the month of giving and we all have a responsibility to help those living in food poverty”.

Volunteers at Harrow Central Mosque will once again distribute “shopping lists” this week, with the aim of collecting twice as much food, in comparison to last year. Worshippers at the mosque are invited to donate food or buy a food voucher, which will be used to purchase food at wholesale prices for the food bank.

“The mosque is on target to raise 5 tonnes of food aid this year. We are very proud of our partnership with Harrow Central Mosque and the generosity of the local Muslim community during Ramadan,” added Mamdani.

[END]

Notes to the Editor:

1)    Sufra NW London is a community food bank and kitchen (Registered Charity No. 1151911). The Food Bank is open on Wednesdays and Sundays from 12pm to 3pm at 160 Pitfield Way, Stonebridge, London, NW10 0PW.

2)    For media enquiries, please contact Mohammed S Mamdani on 020 3441 1335 or email mohammed@sufra-nwlondon.org.uk.

3)    For more information, please visit www.sufra-nwlondon.org.uk.


 

(Embargoed until 30/06/2014)

“DON’T WASTE FOOD DURING RAMADAN” WARNS FOOD BANK

BRENT – Sufra NW London has written to mosques and Islamic centres this week advising Muslim communities to minimise food wastage during Ramadan.

Ramadan is a sacred month for Muslims, during which adherents of the faith abstain from food and drink between dawn and sunset. With Ramadan coinciding with the British summer this year, Muslims will fast for up to 19 hours a day. At sunset, many Muslims will gather at local mosques for prayers and to share a meal, known as “iftar”, amongst neighbours and friends.

“It is not uncommon for mosques to cater for hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of people every night during Ramadan. Whilst sharing food is an intrinsic part of Ramadan culture, mosques and Islamic centres must ensure that they minimise food wastage and put in place procedures to redistribute surplus food,” said Mohammed Mamdani, Interim Director of Sufra NW London.

Sufra NW London provides emergency food aid to thousands of local people every year who are unable to afford the basic cost of living. Last year, the local Muslim community donated nearly 10 tonnes of food during Ramadan, with the biggest food collections organised by Harrow Central Mosque and Stanmore Islamic Centre. In addition to food collections at local mosques, the charity will be accepting donations of cooked meals from mosques after “iftar”, which will be distributed at the food bank to families in financial hardship.

“The local Muslim community is a loyal contributor to Sufra NW London, both financially and through in-kind food donations. We are also grateful to the local Muslim community for sponsoring St. Raphael’s Kitchen, which will be serving an open-for-all “iftar” buffet every Saturday during Ramadan,” added Mamdani.

For media enquiries, please contact Mohammed S Mamdani on 020 3441 1335 or email mohammed@sufra-nwlondon.org.uk.

[END]

Notes to the Editor:

1)    Sufra NW London is a community food bank and kitchen (Registered Charity No. 1151911) based in the London Borough of Brent. The Food Bank is open on Wednesdays and Sundays from 12pm to 3pm and will, from 21 May 2014, move from South Kilburn to new premises in St. Raphael’s Estate, Stonebridge.

2)    For more information, please visit www.sufra-nwlondon.org.uk.

3)    The charity is led by a consortium of charities and organisations who have pledged core funding of up to £50,000 for the next 3 years. These include: Al-Mizan Charitable Trust, Beta Charitable Trust, Shia Ithna-asheri Community of Middlesex and the Islamic Unity Society.


(Embargoed until 06/05/2014)

LOCAL FOOD BANK THROWS DINNER PARTY TO RAISE AWARENESS OF FOOD POVERTY IN NORTH-WEST LONDON

BRENT – Sufra NW London will mark the first anniversary of its food bank service at a Dinner Party on Thursday 8 May from 7:00pm at Chalkhill Community Centre in Wembley Park. Over the past year, the charity has provided emergency food aid to 3,483 people.

“Food poverty in North West London is intrinsically linked to the extortionate cost of housing in the capital. The London Borough of Brent, where the vast majority of our beneficiaries reside, suffers one of the greatest disparities between levels of income and housing costs. Over 30% of employed residents in Brent receive less than the London Living Wage emphasising that hard-working families are no less affected by poverty. As a result, over 18,000 children across North-West London will often have to skip meals,” said Mohammed Mamdani, Interim Director of Sufra NW London.

The Welfare Reform Agenda has only exacerbated the crisis facing many families.

“The implementation of the benefit cap takes no account for regional differences in housing costs, which means that Brent is the second worst affected local authority in the country. Countless families reside in temporary accommodation, and many more will be forced to move outside of the borough, leaving behind employment opportunities, breaking social and family contacts and disrupting the education of children and young people,” added Mamdani.

The Dinner Party will bring together over 120 local groups and organisations, as well as members of the public. It event will include a presentation on Sufra NW London, a short talk from a Food Bank user, a key-note speech from Councillor Muhammad Butt, Leader of Brent Council, a multicultural buffet and an Award Ceremony presented by Councillor Bobby Thomas, Mayor of Brent.

The Awards Ceremony, will recognise the following individuals and organisations for the outstanding contribution to the charity over the past year:

Best Advocate: Tessa Awe (Brent CVS)

Best Council Team: Welfare Assistance Team

Best Council Officer: Christina Byrne

Best Corporate Partnership: Daniels Estate Agents

Biggest Food Collections: Harrow Central Mosque, COEJ Relief & IHRC Bookshop

Best School Partnership: Al-Barakah Foundation

Best Youth Group Partnership: Ansar Youth Project & Stanmore Jafferys

Best Referral Agency: B3/Bsafe

Best Supermarket Partnership: Asda Park Royal

Spaces at the Dinner Party are limited, and registration is essential via Eventbrite:

http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dinner-party-open-evening-awards-ceremony-tickets-11013175705?aff=es2&rank=1&sid=19ca2a94d50f11e3af2012313d090650

Notes to the Editor:

1)    For media enquiries, please contact Mohammed S Mamdani on 07903 986 022 or email mohammed@sufra-nwlondon.org.uk

2)    Sufra NW London is a community food bank and kitchen (Registered Charity No. 1151911) based in the London Borough of Brent. The Food Bank is open on Wednesdays and Sundays from 12pm to 3pm and will, from 21 May 2014, move from South Kilburn to new premises in St. Raphael’s Estate, Stonebridge.

3)    For more information, please visit www.sufra-nwlondon.org.uk.

4)    The charity is led by a consortium of charities and organisations who have pledged core funding of up to £50,0000 for the next 3 years. These include: Al-Mizan Charitable Trust, Beta Charitable Trust, My Community UK, Shia Ithna-asheri Community of Middlesex and the Islamic Unity Society.

[END]