There are many social issues which our society needs to deal with and find solutions for. With winter coming up and the cold nights the season promises every year, it is necessary to address the need of those who are less fortunate and who may have difficulties finding food or shelter.
Food and shelter are basic human rights which many do not have access to around the world. The United Kingdom, known to be the 6th wealthiest nation in the world, is not immune to this inequality. Each year, the number of food banks across the UK doubles, if not triples according to recent statistics. This alarming number needs to be actively addressed before we see another increase in the need to have more food banks. Certain public figures such as Russell Brand have tried to raise awareness regarding this issue, however we as citizens of this country need to make a change quickly and provide our help to those food banks.
In the UK, thousands struggle to secure their next meal due to their lack of financial stability and many struggle to find food for their children. Recent statistics have shown that there is a 51% rise in demand for food from these charities. It is thus an imperative humanitarian issue which needs to be addressed and supported. Furthermore, up to 29,000 children in North-West London go to bed hungry every night whilst 64% are hungry during the day too due to the lack of food. With prices for food rising every day and income remaining stagnant, more and more parents are struggling to feed their children and feed themselves.
Based on the increase of poverty and on the success of the pilot campaign from last year, the Muslim Student Council decided to rerun the ‘Hungry for Justice’ campaign and have decided to tackle the issue and partner with Sufra, a food bank in North-West London known to provide help to those in need, as well as other food-banks, namely Fareshare, Trussel Trust Foodbanks and St.George’s Crypt (Leeds).
The Muslim Student Council, an umbrella organisation comprising students and young professionals from the UK which helps students at university and works together with various university societies on a national scale. Their aim is to empower and provide students with skills which would allow them to develop and engage actively in resolving current issues in society.
This year the campaign will launch in November and will try to emphasise the current crisis of poverty in the UK and will coincide with Ashura Awareness week and National Interfaith Week (17-22nd November). Ashura Awareness is a campaign aimed at highlighting the lessons learnt from an historic stand against injustice by the Prophet’s Grandson, in a more contemporary sphere. Over 20 University societies will be working alongside different faith societies demonstrating that poverty is something that people of all faiths and backgrounds should be working together to alleviate. The campaign will have as a focal point the rise of injustice with regards to poverty hence the name ‘Hungry for Justice’.
As Muslims, we are encouraged to give charity and to help those in need. It should only be natural in our mind to help those less fortunate, even if it is just with our time rather than our wealth. Donating our money is great, but donating our time and perhaps volunteering in food banks should be on our list too. To provide comfort and support to those who are struggling and may just need to have someone to listen to them is as crucial.
For further information, please see link below: https://www.facebook.com/events/311770702341806/
Statistics sources: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/