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Women step up with food and friendship to help East End’s isolated Somali families in lockdown

PUBLISHED: 10:00 15 September 2020

Volunrteer in community kitchen preparing hot meals during lockdown. Picture: Women'’s Inclusive Team

Volunrteer in community kitchen preparing hot meals during lockdown. Picture: Women'’s Inclusive Team

Women’s Inclusive Team

Women have cooked up 5,000 hot meals and delivered nearly 2,000 food boxes to many of the East End’s isolated Somali families who’ve been caught up in the six-month lockdown.

Volunteers out distributing food to isolated Somali families. Picture: Women'’s Inclusive TeamVolunteers out distributing food to isolated Somali families. Picture: Women'’s Inclusive Team

Volunteers from the Women’s Inclusive Team charity set up a kitchen and distribution network paid for by Clarion Housing Group which managed to reach 70 per cent of Tower Hamlets’ Somali community that couldn’t access services.

“Many still face hardship when it comes to food poverty and social isolation,” the charity’s chief executive Safia Jama said. “The funding we got from Clarion went a long way to provide support so desperately need.”

Many were forced to self-isolate when the pandemic started, including the elderly and those in poverty, and it became clear that extra services were needed.

That’s when the charity stepped in with a food bank, community kitchen and befriending project, paid for by Clarion Futures foundation, to make sure they cope with their isolation.

Building up emergency foodbank stocks to distribute to East End's isolated Somali families. Picture: Women’'s Inclusive TeamBuilding up emergency foodbank stocks to distribute to East End's isolated Somali families. Picture: Women’'s Inclusive Team

Clarion Futures’ Matt Parsonage said: “Our emergency fund is designed to break down barriers often faced by Somalis and making sure they have access to the help they need during these challenging times.”

The Women’s Inclusive Team managed to make contact with seven-out-of-10 isolated Somalis in the East End and made 220 welfare calls every day, reaching almost 800 vulnerable people.


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