500 parcels delivered to struggling families to help with cost of living and WinterAssima Alam
On Sunday the 5th of February, Green Lane Masjid and Islamic Relief UK teamed up to provide food parcels for those in need. 500 parcels were delivered, including items like cereal, pasta, oil, tea, and coffee. Islamic Relief UK and Green Lane Masjid will distribute hundreds of essential food hampers to vulnerable families in Birmingham, where there is an alarming rise in food insecurity and the need for financial assistance.
A new report by the resolution foundation found a large increase in people unable to afford essentials. Birmingham City Council declared the cost of living crisis an emergency, with 300,000 residents already in poverty. To help, hampers will be packed with essential food items like bread, pasta, tea, and sugar.
‘We have been operating a number of services to support our local community including our Foodbank and local UK Zakat programme,’ said Muhammad Ali, Welfare Manager at Green Lane Masjid. ‘Through the cost of living crisis, we have seen a significant rise in the number of people accessing the food bank. Our Zakat spend has more than doubled that of the previous year and it has been truly heartbreaking to witness the level of poverty that now exists within our local community. The Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded us to be good to our neighbours and to give charity. Through the support of our partners, donors and volunteers, we have continued to support those in need as best we can.’
‘Food banks are not a sustainable or dignified way to help people who are struggling to survive because they do not have a sufficient or reliable income,’ said Tufail Hussain, Director of Islamic Relief UK. ‘We will continue to support the most vulnerable through our programmes, but food banks should not exist in one of the wealthiest countries in the world. The current cost of living crisis has revealed just how much the UK’s benefits system is failing to support those on the lowest incomes. Only long-term structural change will give people the best chance of escaping poverty and living with dignity. The UK government must do more to deal with the immediate impacts of the cost of living crisis, but also undertake a fundamental review of the UK’s social security system with a view to ensuring benefits provide people with an adequate income to cover their essential needs.’
God reminds us repeatedly to care for those less fortunate and support the poor and needy. As Muslims, we must fulfil these obligations. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of God be upon him) said:
‘He is not a believer whose stomach is full while his neighbour goes hungry.’
Green Lane Masjid and Community Centre
Green Lane Masjid and Community Centre is a leading UK mosque situated in the heart of Birmingham serving the community since 1979. Operating from its award-winning grade II listed Victorian building, GLMCC fulfils its mission of inspiring, educating and serving through its educational college, outreach work, welfare services, international humanitarian wing, as well as its fully functional mosque. For more information about our work and services visit: www.greenlanemasjid.org or access our annual report.