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Founder of Million Meals campaign honoured

27th Nov 2020
Founder of Million Meals campaign honoured

Arif Anis (Photo courtesy of Topline PR)

Elham Asaad Buaras

The co-founder of the NHS-feeding Million Meals campaign was named winner of the prestigious Brain of the Year on November 3. World-renowned author, speaker and philanthropist Arif Anis joins previous winners including Professor Stephen Hawking, rowing legend Sir Steve Redgrave and former astronaut Senator John Glenn, in winning the highest award from the Brain Trust.

The, David Beckham-backed One Million Meals campaign was launched to feed NHS workers during the Covid-19 pandemic. The campaign has so far distributed around 127,650 free meals and nutritious drinks to frontline workers across the UK. In a statement to The Muslim News, Anis said, “It’s unbelievable for someone who started 20 years back as a shepherd in a remote part of Pakistan.

I have been an average student and achiever in my academic life. This award means to me that we are bigger than our limitations, better than our expectations and stronger than our fears and dreams could be realised if you keep running, walking or crawling to them, one step a day. It also shows that an average brain can find its place among the extraordinary through persistence, perseverance and sheer resilience.”

Since April, an army of volunteers have been serving meals to NHS staff, frontline workers and people facing a food crisis during the pandemic. Boxing champion Amir Khan has also backed the campaign.

Iconic Scottish singing duo The Proclaimers, have also allowed an adapted version of their biggest hit song I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) to be produced in support of the campaign.

Speaking about the inspiration behind the campaign, Anis, from Epsom, said, “I fell sick in the mid of March with what appeared to be mild to medium coronavirus symptoms and the ambulance crew visited to attend to me, twice. I was shocked to see they were without the necessary protection equipment, complaining of the longer shifts with no time to eat or having nothing to eat as restaurants were closed. The one who took my ECG had not eaten in the last 12 hours apart from a packet of crisps.”

He continued, “It seemed it was a war out there and leadership author, speaker and consultant in me asked myself ‘What can I do?’ After my recovery on 30 March, I approached my ‘foodpreneur’ friend Suleman Raza who was already thinking on similar lines. Suleman was so passionate that he committed to donate thousands of meals to kick-off the campaign and that is how One Million Meals was born on the first of April 2020.”

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Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

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