Muslims and Jews unite to feed Nottingham’s needy

Left to right - Rabbi Tanya Sakhnovich, Anmarie Spaziano and Co-founder of Himmah Sajid Mohammed at the launch on Wednesday. (PHOTO CREDIT: MATTHEW PAGE HYSON GREEN)

Jews and Muslims have come together to provide a weekly drop-in kitchen for some of Nottingham’s poorest and most vulnerable people.

The Nottingham Liberal Synagogue and not-for-profit Muslim organisation Himmah have launched the Salaam Shalom Kitchen (SaSh), a weekly service providing hot meals and volunteer support.

SaSh, based at Hyson Green‘s Bridge Centre in Gregory Boulevard, aims to help bring together people of all backgrounds.

It was launched last night with guests enjoying a vegetarian jambalya made by Annie’s Burger Shack owner Anmarie Spaziano.

Himmah co-founder Sajid Mohammed said SaSh was also about addressing other social issues.

“In the last 12 months we’ve seen a rise in Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.

“Nottingham for the most part has been quite sheltered but we felt that now is the right moment to give hope and demonstrate our communities’ values of compassion, dignity and care to others.”

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The service, thought to be the only of its kind in the country, will run every Wednesday at 6-8pm with guest chefs from restaurants, businesses and other groups.

SaSh has around 40 volunteers who will help out anyone who wants to pop in as well as those referred to by other services.

John Youens, a member of the Nottingham Liberal Synagogue’s steering committee, said: “This is for access to anyone – they don’t have to be Jewish, they don’t have to be Muslim, they don’t have to be anything. This is open to anyone who needs access to it in the community.”

Homeless charity Framework is one of the organisations from which the group will receive referrals.

Street outreach team leader Sam Lloyd said: “This is a really welcome addition to the community.

“There are soup kitchens but they’re few and far between and the addition of SaSh can only be welcome.”

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