A new initiative has been set up in Aberdeen to provide free freshly cooked meals once a month to the city’s residents. The Foodbox initiative was set up in May by the oganisation Aberdeen Muslims, in conjunction with another local charity, Aberdeen Cyrenians, to address the current economic downturn in the city and relieve pressure on food banks.
Aberdeen Muslims was set up by local Muslims who have lived in Aberdeen all their lives, with the aims of building relationships with the wider Scottish community and attracting Muslim volunteers to help in different local charity initiatives.
One of the project’s founders, Maaruf Razzak, said: “Foodbox is more than just providing for the homeless, it is about providing food for anyone that does not have dinner on their table. We welcome people from all faiths and backgrounds to come and see us. Food brings people together; we want to give our fellow Aberdonians that are facing hardship not just a filling meal, but a tasty one.”
He told The Muslim News: “The response from the community has been uplifting…There have been a number of business and individuals who have offered services to the FoodBox on the back of the initial event last month. We have received many messages of support and well wishes over the last few weeks from locals, to expats to Councillors and Members of Scottish Parliament.”
Deputy Chief Executive of Aberdeen Cyrenians, Scott Baxter, said, “We have built a fantastic relationship with Aberdeen Muslims through past projects and we are ecstatic that the relationship will become even stronger through Foodbox. We have already let our service users know where they can get their supper on a Wednesday night and I’m sure everyone sees them as a welcome addition to help combat the rise in poverty in the North East of Scotland.”
Last year Aberdeen Muslims led a Winter Appeal campaign with Aberdeen Cyrenians to raise £5,000 for homeless people in the city. The project’s founders hope to get enough funding to host the Foodbox service twice a month.