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Islamic Relief UK call on the government to help families affected by the cost-of-living crisis as the charity begins to deliver 12,000 food packs across the UK   

The charity’s partners are reporting that calls for help from families have skyrocketed, and the situation is far worse than it was last winter.

Islamic Relief UK will begin distributing 12,000 food packs across the country this month to over 33,000 people, who have been hit hard by the cost-of-living and is asking the UK government to help families who are struggling.

A staggering one in five people in the UK are now living in poverty, with the most shocking impacts seen in families’ ability to feed themselves.

Islamic Relief UK will continue to support the most affected through food banks, mosques and other organisations but are calling on the UK government to ensure people have adequate incomes to cover the essentials.

To immediately ease the impacts of the crisis, the charity is urging the government to bring back the £20 uplift in Universal Credit with a view to making this permanent, and to temporarily pause debt deductions from benefits to help with food and energy costs.

The charity’s partners in the UK are reporting a significant increase in the use of food banks with their staff also overwhelmed. Reports find that many families who lost their incomes during the pandemic are still trying to recover, and food banks are now facing a cut in food donations with staff struggling to feed themselves.

One of Islamic Relief UK’s partners, Masjid Al-Falaah, a mosque in Birmingham is reporting that demand is so high that their food bank is running out of food and calls for help have doubled in the last six months. Another partner in Bradford, Give A gift saw demand for help triple in the last three months and over the Christmas period.

With people also finding it hard to pay bills to heat their homes, many food banks across the nation are additionally providing ‘warm spaces’ to help provide relief.

The charity will be partnering with football clubs such as Liverpool FC foundation, Aston Villa FC, Birmingham FC, Burnley FC, Leicester FC, West Ham FC and Celtic FC to bring much needed relief to struggling families.

Islamic Relief UK will also be distributing food packs through 23 partners including Cambridge Central Mosque, East London Mosque, Green Lane Masjid, Sufra NW, Newham Community Centre, Crookston community Centre, PL84U Al Suffa, One Roof Leicester, Cann Hall Mosque, Masjid Al-Hikmah, North Paddington food bank, Birmingham Mosque, Blackhall Mosque and The Felix project.

Food packs will contain dry food items like pasta, rice, and cereal as well as tea, milk and juice to provide families with a helping hand during a difficult start to the year.

While the increasing cost of living is impacting all households, it is having a disproportionate impact on the poorest families, the homeless, those suffering from domestic abuse, asylum seekers and refugees who were already struggling to feed themselves.

Tufail Hussain, Director of Islamic Relief UK said: “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. 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.” 


Notes to editors

For more information or to request to interview one of our spokespeople, please contact:

Saeedah Haque [email protected] 020 3148 3217

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.

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