Islam association returns to feeding the homeless after lockdown

20 May 2021

A Sheffield Muslim association has given its first food donation of 2021 as part of its campaign to deliver food to homeless people. 

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Association Sheffield (AMA Sheffield) served more than 80 people with boiled rice and lentils at Cathedral Archer Project – a place supporting homeless people, on the 11th of May after the easing of the third lockdown.

The group, which believes in spreading kindness and helping others as part of their duty to serve the community, has been supplying the hot meals for over 10 years, and used to regularly take food parcels out once every week.

Adeeq Rehman, Minister of the AMA Sheffield, said: “We’re glad we can bring the project back because in Islam it’s our fundamental duty to serve mankind. 

“As we’re in the holy month of Ramadan, which teaches us when we’re hungry and when we’re thirsty, we can realise more about how people are feeling when they’re hungry, and why we have to help more vulnerable people.”

Members of Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association Sheffield, a branch of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, have been helping with cooking and food delivery in each feeding session. 

Arfan ljaz, 27, who has been volunteering for the association for seven years, said: “I feel more inclined to take care of homeless people, and fulfill their needs in any way possible, as the coronavirus has made their life much more difficult.”

Arfan also explained before the first Covid-19 lockdown occurred in March 2020, they had become very close to the homeless community by delivering food. 

“We used to have conversations with almost every one of them, and I missed that part. But now I’m really happy I’m able to help others as much as I can. I’m really grateful I was raised and born in this community, and I feel very proud.”

The young volunteers have frequently taken part in community activities during the coronavirus including the winter campaign for which they’ve donated over 300kg of food across Yorkshire to homeless people. 

Mr Rehman said: “The association is based on volunteers. By the grace of God, the team of volunteers is very strong. They are always ready to help the community with whatever help it needs.”

The association will go back to also feeding the homeless on the streets of Sheffield in June when restrictions are lifted.

  • Volunteers cooking for homeless people in the kitchen of Mosque (Photo by Jinqian Li)

Written by Jinqian Li

A 2nd-year journalism student at Sheffield University

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