Muslims celebrate Eid by feeding homeless in Stratford
- Credit: Archant
Muslims marked an end to the month-long Ramadan fast by handing out food to 200 people.
On Sunday, June 25, 10 volunteers gave up three hours of one of the most important holidays in Islam – Eid al-Fitr – to feed 45 homeless people as well as passers-by in Broadway, Stratford.
Leading them was Rukhsana Khan Foundation founder Jahangir Khan, who named his charity after his philanthropic mum, saying handing out food was the perfect way to celebrate Ramadan’s end.
“The whole idea was to spend our ‘Christmas’ feeding the community regardless of religion,” the 47-year-old said. “It opened my eyes in terms of what we can to do help people and we’re hoping to feed people on a regular basis.”
He said the response from the community, business and believers had been “overwhelming”, calling it a “great day for the community in Stratford” and adding: “People were very responsive and warm to the whole idea.”
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East London firm Zara Catering supplied the food for the handout, which Jahangir hopes to use as a springboard to host regular Sunday sessions in the future.
He says he became concerned when he learned there were no evening or weekend hot meals being made available to Stratford’s homeless.
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“It was a really good to feed 45 homeless people – it’s a good number to feed,” he said. “But it showed me that there’s a need to feed the homeless on an ongoing basis.”
He said speaking to the homeless who attended the Eid feed reinforced how urgent the problem in east London.
“People think sometimes that this problem doesn’t exist as much as it does,” he said. “But speaking to them at this event it transpired that they don’t have any late night hot meals or hot food on a Saturday and Sunday.”
The accountant set up the charity to say thank God for the good life he believes he’s been gifted. He said he couldn’t think of a more appropriate way to celebrate Eid – a festival that celebrates food – than by feeding those most in need, adding it’s human nature to help society’s most vulnerable no matter their creed.