Muslim Londoners donate 10 tonnes of food for homeless people at Christmas

East London Mosque

London’s Muslims have donated 10 tonnes of food to feed the homeless across the capital at Christmas, the Evening Standard reports. 

Hundreds of Muslims went to the East London Mosque on Friday in a drive to feed London’s homeless during the Christmas period.

Pictures showed members of the congregation which numbers more than 7,000 donating food as they attended Jummah prayers at the mosque in Whitechapel, east London.

Members of the congregation stood in front of crates of shopping bags filled with rice, pasta, cereals and tinned goods ready for distribution to the homeless people living on the streets.

The organisers estimated that more than seven tonnes of food were donated by schools, businesses, a university and leaders from other faiths contributing.

More than 90 per cent of the food, which will be given to the homeless charity Crisis, will go to non-Muslims, with Christian Reverend Gary Bradley describing the drive as “all faiths working together for a common humanity.”

Imam Abdul Qayum of the East London Mosque, who organised the project along with the Muslim Aid charity, said the drive was inspired by Islam.

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He told the Evening Standard: “Muslims are inspired by their faith towards helping others in need. It is a religious duty for Muslims to try to help others, irrespective of a person’s faith or background.

“This compassion is truly reflective of what Islam stands for.”

He added: “In the cold winter months when we have the luxury of a home and hot food, it’s easy to forget about others that are in dire need around us. So it is in that spirit we take part in this big food drive.”

The number of people sleeping rough in the UK has significantly increased, with government figures estimating that over 3,500 people slept on the streets every night in 2015, an increase of 30 per cent compared to 2014.

The charity Centrepoint warns that 25,000 young people could be at risk of homelessness this Christmas.

Jehangir Malik, Chief Executive of Muslim Aid told the Evening Standard: “With austerity cuts and the housing crisis, more and more people are ending up on the streets – destitute.

“We, as a Muslim charity, want to do everything we can to help the most vulnerable people in this country this Christmas, regardless of faith or background.”

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