The manager at the food bank at Lincoln Central Mosque hopes it will continue for the long-term after helping an average of around 10 families a week during the coronavirus pandemic.
The mosque’s team of volunteers work in collaboration with Acts Trust and City of Lincoln Council. Acts Trust was founded by Alive Church in Lincoln in 2006 and runs support projects and programmes to meet the needs of local residents.
The food bank at Lincoln Central Mosque was launched in April 2020 to try and help the local community during the pandemic. It is open every Saturday between 1.30pm and 3.30pm.
The mosque’s food bank manager Abdul Siddiqui told The Lincolnite that it is not specific to any religion or group as they are working with the wider community and the facility is open to all.
He said: “We are facing what has become the most significant public health emergency in living memory. We launched a fundraising appeal to raise and distribute funds to support communities made most vulnerable by the coronavirus outbreak.
“Personally, this is part of my religious duty to help people and I want to help the wider community.”
The food bank is registered with City of Lincoln Council and anyone wishing to use the service should call 01522 873382. This will enable to council to refer people in need onto one of nine places to collect from, including the mosque and eight churches.
Once a person is referred they can bring the voucher to their nearest food bank centre, where it can be exchanged for a parcel containing a minimum of three days worth of meals.
People can also contact Abdul directly on 07975 818809 if they are unable to get to the collection point so that they can be added to the database and deliveries can be arranged, but he advised it is best to go through the council first.
He added that the plan is to continue to food bank service at the mosque even after the coronavirus pandemic is over. He is in the process of arranging a storage space, which will allow people to make donations to the food bank in the future.
Toby Dennis, Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire, sent a letter of praise to Abdul and his team last summer, saying: “It was of great interest to us to have been given an insight into the workings of the food bank and to get to meet both the service users and the extraordinary people who volunteer their time to help others, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Meanwhile, the mosque is unable to open fully as normal due the the coronavirus pandemic, but can continue to have socially distanced prayer five times a day.