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Food Distribution - Cambridge

Islamic Relief UK and Cambridge Central Mosque teamed up to help financially struggling families in Cambridge after the Islamic Festival of Eid al-Adha

Between Saturday 16 July and Monday 18 July, Islamic Relief UK and Cambridge Central Mosque teamed up to provide food and essential items to 100 vulnerable families in Cambridge.

This is part of a wider initiative led by Islamic Relief UK involving 19 partners across the country to deliver food packs, Qurbani (1) meat and Eid gifts to coincide with the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha (2).

Cambridge has seen a stark rise in families needing financial assistance and help with food including the homeless, low-income families, those suffering from domestic abuse, asylum seekers and refugees who were already struggling to feed themselves.

An experienced team of Cambridge Central Mosque and Islamic Relief UK volunteers will help to assemble the food packs to deliver to local families and individuals in need, who have been identified by local organisations such as the local council.

The food packs contained dry food staples such as rice, pasta, lentils, tinned tomatoes as well as 5kg of meat sacrificed on the day of Eid al-Adha.

Muhammad Ashraf, Director of Cambridge Central Mosque said: “Having just celebrated the joyous day of Eid al-Adha in which we are reminded of the countless blessings bestowed upon us by the Divine, we as Muslims feel compelled to help those who are less fortunate and in need.

“As our local organisations have been reporting, the cost of living crisis is worsening, and therefore this timely initiative, which has been so generously sponsored by our partners at Islamic Relief UK, will hopefully be a respite to families and individuals in our community here in Cambridgeshire who have fallen upon hard times.”

Statement from Sam Dyer MBE, CEO of Cambridge Sustainable Food on behalf of the Cambridge Food Poverty Alliance: “As a group of partner organisations working together to alleviate food poverty in the city with the UK’s highest level of income inequality, we are extremely concerned about the current and imminent levels of hardship being experienced by many Cambridge households.

“The rising costs of food and fuel have left many people facing real dilemmas every day about how to survive. The poorest households spend a higher proportion of their income on food and energy, and so the impact on them is greater than it is for others. The Governor of the Bank of England has called what’s happening with world food prices “apocalyptic”, and we are all worried about what is to come this coming Winter when further fuel price increases hit.

“Our member organisations are experiencing a perfect storm of increases in the numbers of people seeking help with food, often people who never expected to find themselves in this position, whilst donations of food and money are reducing as

people tighten their belts. We feel that the voluntary sector is plugging gaps in state provision for vulnerable households and worry that we will not be able to cope with rising demand.”

Tufail Hussain, Director of Islamic Relief UK Said: “Increasing food costs and energy bills are hitting families hard all across the UK.

“The increase in the number of families seeking help in Cambridge is shocking and a scenario that is getting worse.

“We are proud to be working with Cambridge Central Mosque to help bring some joy to families with food during the festival of Eid-Al-Adha.”


Notes to editors

For any questions or to request to interview one of our spokespeople, please contact:

  • Jonaid Jilani

[email protected] – 07872 403534

  • Tariq Chow

[email protected] – 01223 654020

About Cambridge Central Mosque

Cambridge Central Mosque is a unique prayer space, fusing traditional and modern architecture with green credentials, reflecting Islam’s ideals of earth, soul, and community care. The building was designed by Marks Barfield Architects.

About Islamic Relief

Islamic Relief is a faith-inspired, development and humanitarian agency working to transform and save the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in over 40 countries. Islamic Relief assists people according to need and does not discriminate in any way.

Set up in Birmingham in 1984 by a group of volunteers, we have assisted over 117 million people all over the world. We’re saving lives and empowering people to lift themselves out of poverty in over 40 countries – from Bangladesh to Bosnia, Pakistan to Palestine, Kenya to Kosovo. Islamic Relief is on the ground in some of the world’s most dangerous and difficult places – including Syria and Yemen – strengthening the most marginalised communities to withstand conflict and natural disasters and to build a brighter future. We also support vulnerable people in the UK in partnership with local charities and organisations.

1. Qurbani means sacrifice. Every year during the Islamic month of Dhul Hijjah, Muslims around the world slaughter an animal – a goat, sheep, cow or camel – to reflect the Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail, for the sake of

God. In 2022, Qurbani distributions will aim to reach more people than ever before. After the animal has been sacrificed, its meat is then distributed to those most in need.

2. The month of Dhul Hijjah is one of the holiest periods of the Islamic year, when two very special events (Hajj and Eid ul Adha) take place. Hajj in Islam is a sacred pilgrimage performed by Muslims at the holy mosque Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is one of the five pillars of Islam and takes place during the month of Dhul Hijjah, the twelfth month in the Islam calendar. As Muslims, undertaking Hajj in Islam – is a spiritual duty, as long as they are financially, physically and emotionally able to do so. On Eid al-Adha, Muslims remember the sacrifice made by Prophet Ibrahim (AS). In remembrance of his sacrifice and to help the poor and needy, Muslim give Qurbani.

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