Est. During Ramadan 2020, Newham Community Project receives free halal food from City Harvest
Newham Community Project: A food hub, founded during Ramadan in March 2020, to help people in need. City Harvest delivers free nutritious food to Newham and 350+ charities, including 156 halal community groups.
LEFT: City Harvest driver, Shay, with Yasmin. RIGHT: City Harvest driver, Rich, with the Newham Community Project team, including Yasmin, centre.
“On Tuesday and Friday afternoons, we serve expectant mothers and women with children as we have people queue in the evenings for sometimes 2-3 hours for just a couple of bags of food.”
City Harvest drivers, Shay and Richard, deliver to Newham Community Project weekly.
“Shay is amazing. She is one of our regular drivers. People like Shay, who dedicate their time in such an impactful way, truly make a difference. It’s all about giving back to the community. Without people like City Harvest or Newham Community Project, people wouldn’t get fed.”
“When we first went into lockdown, all the communities and faiths came together in solidarity to help those less fortunate. The Gurdwaras, the mosque, the local businesses, everybody helping London in a time of crisis.”
Ramadan is the most sacred month of Islamic culture and a time of reflection, community, and charity or zakat. In 2020, mid COVID-19 lockdown, the ‘humanitarian crisis’ exacerbated food poverty in the London borough of Newham.
City Harvest’s Uber Eats van delivers nutritious, and halal, food to Newham Community Project weekly. Uber Eats’ current Ramadan Campaign donates one meal to City Harvest for every Halal meal purchased on the platform.
After noticing queues of people outside their local mosque, Yasmin and her husband, Ilias, founded Newham Community Project.
The mosque opened to offer free food for people unable to access food – to open their day-long fast. However, they could only provide a few dates and nuts to people without anything to eat for iftar (the evening meal to open the fast).
“We said: OK we have to do something; we can’t expect people to fast for up to 20 hours and only break their fast with a handful of fruit.”
Community Coming Together
Yasmin, Ilias, and others within the community encouraged neighbours to make an extra portion, during their nightly iftar, that they could give to someone without access to nutritious food.
“We reached out to the community and asked if people could provide a packed meal while we were celebrating and opening our fast in the evening. During that first month of Covid, and Ramadan, we served around 2000 hot meals for those without enough food to open their fast.”
Ongoing Community Support
This act of kindness during the holy month of Ramadan evolved into today’s community project, a hub that distributes food to over 2000 service-users a week. Many of whom were international students without recourse to public funding during the pandemic, stranded far away from home with limited resources.
Students, families, and people from all walks of life queued for hours for free food during the pandemic.
“We initially started serving around 30 families, within a week that increased to 80 families, and then to 100. As the word got out to more students that there was help out there, the demand just skyrocketed.”
Newham Community Project provides:
- Essential grocery items for thousands in need of free food.
- A team who help people with accommodation issues.
- A team to help with students University fees and financial queries.
Support City Harvest and its recipient charities this Ramadan and donate.
Uber Eats, Sundown Spot, Ramadan Campaign – with donations to City Harvest.