July 25 2014 Latest news:
Harry Kemble, Reporter
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
A new community kitchen which will provide two meals each day for those in need was opened last week by the League of British Muslims organisation.
The South Ilford Community Kitchen, in Eton Road, is open to anyone who wishes to come and offers a viable alternative to the night shelter Salvation Army in Clements Road, which is only open during winter.
Currently, “five or six” shops are providing the food for the kitchen, which is open from 12pm to 3pm each day and 7pm to 9pm in the evenings.
Bashir Chaudhry, chairman of the League of British Muslims, has helped co-ordinate the initiative, which was attended by 30 people on the first day for lunch.
He said: “The kitchen is open to everyone. We got a lot of visitors - a lot of whom were really destitute and they asked us for help. The first day went very well.
“There is no identification and anybody who comes can have a free meal.”
The kitchen is run by volunteers from the League of British Muslims.
Mr Chaudhry said many of those who come are women who have come to this country to study and work, but may not legally be allowed to be employed yet by the government.
“They may have a student visa and they have been lumbered in this country,” explained Mr Chaudhry.
“Now they do not have to worry about two meals a day - it is a big relief for them.
“When you do these charitable gestures, you do not feel like you are doing something for them and we are happy with that.”
The Salvation Army in Clements Road offers a night shelter from December through to March to help the homeless through the difficult winter months.
John Clifton, 27, a church leader, helps organise the shelter.
He said: “During the 12 weeks last year we had 60 different people.
“It sounds great what the League of British Muslims is doing.
“It is good to know that something else is happening [in the borough].”
If you would like to provide food for the South Ilford Community Kitchen please call the League of British Muslims on 0208 514 0706.