Banbury Mosque offers needy residents food parcels

Banbury Mosque Foodbank launch. Hassan Hanif, Mosque Chairman, left and Ansar Hussain, Mosque Community Kitchen, right. NNL-180304-160934009
Banbury Mosque Foodbank launch. Hassan Hanif, Mosque Chairman, left and Ansar Hussain, Mosque Community Kitchen, right. NNL-180304-160934009

Banbury Masjid, on Merton Street, began a new community initiative this week with the introduction of the community kitchen.

The scheme will allow people on low incomes or with a genuine need for food to visit the mosque every Saturday between noon and 2pm, for free hot food or food packages to help them through difficult times.

To further strengthen ties with Banbury residents the mosque will also be hosting a community dinner on Saturday to coincide with the community kitchen.

The community dinner is open to anyone wanting to learn more about the mosque and its teachings or people who want to contribute to the project in the future.

Featuring an array of fruit, grains and the option of a hot meal the community kitchen’s inaugural outing was a low key affair with all produce being donated from mosque members.

Ansar Hussain, who gives tours of the facility and speaks about Islam in schools, was behind the idea, he said: “We’ve created a pack with rice, pasta, a can of tuna, things like that, that will basically get a person through a few days.

“A needy person isn’t someone who is necessarily in need every day. Sometimes you have someone who has lost his card and needs food for the day. He might be a needy person for that day, or a week if their tax credits haven’t come through or something like that.”

Since the announcement of the kitchen was made on social media the response has been overwhelmingly positive with many Banbury residents praising the initiative as ‘fantastic’ and many others offering to volunteer.

Ansar said: “I want to give a shout out to all the people that have contacted me with support.

“They wanted to donate. A business contacted me and said ‘here’s my website, if there’s anything you need let me know’. It was an awesome response.”

Food parcels can also be delivered to people without transport.

For more information about the kitchen and programmes at the mosque, visit www.banburymasjid.org.uk.