FEED THE NEED Among the many diverse food and nutrition-conscious activities delivered by Karimah’s Cuisina is FEED THE NEED, feeding the homeless in Central London.
However, inspired by the Quranic ayats, we set out to do what Allah has instructed us to do, to feed the needy: “And righteous are those who give food, in spite of their own need, to the poor, the orphan and the captive for the love of Allah, saying in their hearts: ‘We feed you for the sake of Allah Alone; we desire nothing in return from you, not even a word of thanks.’” Surat Al-‘Insān (The Man) Chapter 76, 8-9 Another inspiration was the Conservative Party’s Big Society ,which seemed to offer faith based organisations an opportunity to pick up the slack where the government was making cuts. And finally the Islamic classic scholar, Imam Al Ghazali, has a book of manners about eating and he mentioned “Mercy Tables”, and so FEED THE NEED came into being.
Three years later, we are stronger than ever. Alhamdulillah rabeel alameen, praise The Creator, we have a strong core team of volunteers and regular sponsors, masha Allah, as God would have it be. So what is Feed The Need, feeding the homeless in Central London?
We cook healthy meals from scratch, usually, but not always, brown rice with mixed vegetables, meat or vegetarian medium curry thats as good as anything you will get in Brick Lane and provide healthy additive-free soft drinks. Sometimes it’s like ‘Ready Steady Cook’ and we have to think on our feet to make something fresh and funky with donated ingredients. When it’s cold, we take tea and coffee and at this time of the year we distribute mince pies, socks, hats and toiletries, when funds permit. We distribute in central London to relieve the hunger of the ever-growing number of homeless people in need whose home is literally on the streets. Though some are Muslim, most people we meet are not. Alhamdulillah, meals have been delivered regularly: monthly or bi-monthly for three years. Most of our volunteers have their Food Health and Hygiene Qualification, paid for by our fundraising and support from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council. Previously using the kitchen of Al Manar Cultural Centre in Ladbroke Grove gave us more scope to increase volumes. However the kitchen was taken over by a take-away franchise. So currently we are negotiating with a local community centre in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Insha Allah using a commercial kitchen will help to engage more volunteers from the wider community. How charity helps us We accept raw ingredients that are often donated charitably to include in our menu. We do not take cooked food as we have reputation for quality, clean food that we prepare to our own, high standards for immediate delivery to ensure freshness without the need to reheat. Alhamdulillah, our regulars recognise our care and thoroughness. Quality not quantity is the ethos behind everything we do. Halal meat, fish, lentils, brown rice, onions, tomatoes, garlic, ginger, vegetables, fruits, salad vegetables and spice are ideal donations of raw ingredients. At certain times of the year we are open to receiving warm blankets, good condition shoes and warm clothes, mainly, but not exclusively, for men. Financial donations enable our expansion, to reach more hungry homeless people more frequently, to pay for equipment as well as food, and to enable us to cover costs for our volunteers. BANK DETAILS KARIMAHS CUISINA NAT WEST UK ACCOUNT 61933090 SORT CODE 55-50-28 IBAN GB93 NWBK 5550 2861 9330 90 Reference FEED How can YOU help: with donations? Arrangements to contribute any item other than money can be made with our Amir, Faisal Mu’meen on 07966394595 or our Amira, Karimah Bint Dawoud, at email@example.com How can YOU help: with your time? Could you spare 4 hours a month to be part of the team helping to shop, prepare, cook, clean, pack or come out on the street with us to distribute the meals? It’s quite a baton-passing challenge and beside good references, you need enthusiasm and to work well within a team with the clock ticking. Maybe your strengths are marketing and fundraising? Could you help us? We would love you to be part of the Feed The Need team so please email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know you’ve checked your diary and want to join us. And please remember keep us in your duaas. Be a part of this noble endeavour. Feel free to get in touch. We would love to hear from you. Jazakumallahkhayrun, may Allah reward you with good. Ameen. The Founder of Feed The Need
Alhamdulillah rabeel alameen. Karimah Bint Dawoud, the Glam Imam is a Muslim chaplain, who specialises in Islamic wellbeing, nutrition and gender issues. In between interviewing potential husbands, jumping up and down on the bed with her grandson and taking food photos, her role is as go-between for the Shariah council and the wider community. Also Karimah has been an agony auntie for the last few years, experienced on the subjects of families, marriage, weight loss and Islam, masha Allah. A revert to Islam, she is a qualified nutritionist and award-winning author of ‘Heavenly Bites’, currently compiling a second book, masha Allah.