British Asian Christian Association ‘Meals for the Needy’ service began a few months before the COVID-19 Pandemic lockdown of 2020.
During the lockdown in Redbridge we were the only soup kitchen/foodbank serving the homeless the economically challenged community locally. This thanks to our ability to work with Redbridge Council in devising a safe working practice. Throughout both lockdowns we were serving over 65 people a day, 2 times a day. Our wider collaborations that included Gurdwara’s, Churches, Mosques, Temples and a whole host of businesses, charities and community individuals meant that everybody had plenty of food to share.
We have carried on our service provision since the lock down and now still serve at least 45 people a day, every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the most days for any soup kitchen/foodbank locally. We take our calling from scripture:
“No one is exempt from the call to feed the hungry.” Romans 12:20
With this in mind we have continued to build as many partnerships as possible within the community, in our desire to ensure our regular visitors have access to good quality hotmeals and a wide range of food and other groceries to sustain themselves.
Our work also includes providing 50 meals each of our operating days to the Malachi Project which houses rough sleepers and 3 meals to Greenwood House that provides home to mentally-ill women.
All of our visitors have great respect for our work and are aware that we are not government funded, but are funded through donors and the community. Some of our regular visitors have shared their opinions on our work in the vide below and we encourage you to watch it.
Our food service is accompanied by spiritual food and visitors are able to access Christian prayers, free bibles and often local pastors will visit and engage with visitors.
None of this work would be possible without the generosity of our donors. We have numerous costs including food and toiletries purchases, fuel and travel for collections and distribution. You can help us expand and continue our services by donating (here).
Naomi Chowdhry (15 yrs) a volunteer, said:
“It has been a very rewarding opportunity to serve at BACA’s Meals for the Homeless project.
“Every week, we meet new people and they are all so grateful of the help and support they receive.
“Visitors share details about what has happened in the week them and it is nice to be able to share their joys or listen when the have a problem.
“Professional counselling is provided by Westminster Drug project, but sometimes I sense our visitors just enjoy some company.
“Our visitors love our food and for many it is the only thing they have had to eat all day.
“Hunger and malnutrition can cause many health problems, it’s great to be able to meet such an essential need.”