“He is not a Muslim who goes to bed satiated while his neighbor goes hungry”. Prophet Muhammad (saw)
Gloucester Helping Hands, a Muslim community led initiative which has been involved in feeding the needy and homeless through collaboration with different Gloucester based organisations for over four years, has packed and delivered 180 food bags to help the destitute this Christmas
As a small city there are less homeless people than in larger cities – however the issues faced are the same. As well as supporting the homeless, Gloucester Helping Hands also supports people in supported living accommodation. The food bank element supports people who live in their own homes but who may find it hard to make ends meet due to a number of reasons.
During the Christmas of 2015, Gloucester Helping Hands worked to pack and issue ‘goodie’ bags for the ‘NHS Homeless Healthcare Team’ which included easy to eat items such as Pot Noodles, Biscuits, Soup, Water, Cereal Bars and Fruit.
Having been encouraged by the successes of last year, Gloucester Helping Hands teamed up with TSB to pack and deliver food bags for this years Christmas as well.
Adding an extra touch during the festive period this year, Gloucester Helping Hands provided a traditional Indian Gujrati meal of to the needy and volunteers at the George Whitefield Centre for their Christmas Eve lunch.
Some of the key people involved in this initiative include Imam Hassan Ghodawala
, Imam at the An-Noor Mosque in Gloucester. He has been inspired by his faith to help those in need and refers to passages in the Qur’an where this is strongly empahsised. One such verse says,
“Have you seen the one who denies the Day of Judgement ? Then such is he who repulses the orphan and encourages not the feeding of the needy …….”
Imam Hassan and the key people involved with Gloucester Helping Hands went on to add that,
“Regardless of people’s vulnerabilities, complexities and backgrounds, it is our duty as Muslims to feed and support the needy. Providing the support of food to meet a vital and sustaining basic need, there is the opportunity to come together as humans, to develop and share friendships which overlook our differences and emphasise our commonalities.