During the month of April to mark and honour the beginning of the Holy Month of Ramadan, we worked to provide over 100 hot meals to over 100 families across Nottingham.
The project is led by our partners GAIN Diaspora and the food is distributed to both Muslim and non-Muslim families and needy individuals. It will go on for the next four weeks. Working with as many different and diverse communities as we can, we delivered food to groups in need across Nottingham, including refugees, asylum seekers, the destitute and those unable or untitled to access government support, provisions or funding.
For the next the four Saturdays, we will continue to provide hot meals to make sure communities are supported in these indeterminate and uncertain times. We see it as essential that all communities across Nottingham come together to help each other, spreading positivity and maintaining cultural solidarity.
Abdoulie Jah, from GAIN Diaspora has said, “There are families with children and loved ones who not only are suffering financially everyday but are often going without and lacking the everyday essentials they need. If we can feed one person then that is one less hungry person to worry about. We all need to do our bit together and we will all come out of this together.”
Across the globe local expressions of solidarity appear to be spreading as society takes it upon themselves to act on behalf of others in need. This epoch calls on us to share our recourses and step into mutual aid. It is also important that everyone gets food that is suitable and ideal for them. Asking people to eat what they are not used to is often a difficult choice and many of people find themselves bound to make these choices.
One of the 100 recipients was Aisha, a mother who lives with her husband, 2 kids and 2 relatives in the same household. Aisha said that:
“We are very grateful of these meals. Though they say beggars should not be choosers, the food we have been receiving is sometimes not cultural appropriate as we never know if it is Halal or not. It is also high in sugar, salts and sometimes one is uncertain of the ingredients. Don’t get me wrong, we are not ungrateful but it is vital that we all get healthy and appropriate meals especially at this time when we cannot go out and do our own search and networking to seek help for these quality meals”
Food is a sensitive issue, especially for most ethnic minorities who perceive food in a holistic manner – personal, spiritual, political and social. Eating, tasting and smelling those foods one is used to makes people feel whole and links them to their roots and history.
“Many of us are miles away from our communities, friends and roots. A taste and smell of those traditional dishes and the foods we love is a great source of nostalgia. It is a way for us to embrace our immigrant side of identity.” said Aladdin, a Sudanese asylum seeker who received the first batch of meals.”