Over 50 needy people received hot meals, other food and bibles during our distribution on Saturday 8th April.
Many other regular food charities stopped serving during this period but we have served on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Saturday every year.
For many homeless people our service has become a necessity and we are known for the variety of food we provide and our opening throughout holiday periods.
Our regular Thursday, Friday and Saturday distribution is the most popular amongst Redbridge’s homeless. Many of whom queue for hours to be the first to receive our food.
Homeless and other needy people in Redbridge were given a treat when 3 volunteers gave them hot meals, cold meals and snacks drinks and chocolate Easter bunnies. A service which has been provided without fail for the last 3 years.
The above queue of visitors had gathered at our Good Friday distribution.
We have noticed an upsurge in visitors to our meals service and foodbank since the economy has entered a period of instability (click here). We are currently serving over 50 people a day three days a week which is getting close to our record of over 65 people a day (though that was twice a day – 7 days a week) during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We regularly provide Bibles to our visitors which have been provided by the local Gideon’s chapter:
Through our unpaid volunteers many of whom cook food at their own expense and even gift food form time to time with their own money, we have fast become Redbridge’s favourite place to eat for the borough’s homeless and those struggling economically.
We have won two awards for our service most notably a Rotary Young Citizen Award for Hannah Chowdhry, a teenager who founded and developed the service:
In recent weeks we have also began supplying hot meals and a small foodbank to residents of a female supported living for mental health accommodation. Greenwood House, in Newbury Park, Ilford contacted us in an emergency 3 weeks ago after one of their residents was in desperate need of food. Our service has increased to three women in the accommodation since then. We hope to get an interview from them about the level of commitment we have made to improve the lives of these women.
We are also providing a small foodbank and have been maintaining food support to several other families through home deliveries.
We distribute recycled clothes form time to time, toiletries, toilet rolls and items such as washing powder and often distributed. In the winter months we provide hot drinks and for homeless people who are really struggling we occasionally hold breakfast mornings with hot breakfasts or cereals provided to visitors.
In addition to all of this on the three evenings of our food service, we also distribute 50 meals to the Malachi Project a large homeless shelter in Ilford.
Juliet Chowdhry, Trustee for British Asian Christian Association, said:
“Jesus healed on the Sabbath, an illustration that any ministry for God is for every day.
“We have never stopped our food distribution due to it falling on a special or festive day.
“The Bible is clear on God’s desire that people help those less fortunate then themselves.
“Our Meals for the Needy project helps the most deprived and vulnerable people, by creating a hub for anyone with a passion to actively help.
“Our ethos is strictly Christian, but our volunteers come from a wide variety of backgrounds, allowing us to share a testimony of God’s love.”
Our work comes at a great cost, we have vehicle expenses, food and toiletries costs, cleaning materials and equipment costs and much more. We do not apply for government, or lottery funds and depend entirely on the generosity of our donors. You too can support this work by donating (here).