High on our priorities has been to start Ilhaam Foodbank Rotherham. The Ilhaam team have been looking for ways where we could be active in the community and make a positive impact on peoples’ lives. We know that taking on such a responsibility requires a great deal of effort.
It’s an unfortunate sign of the times that more and more families are struggling and going hungry. In our hometown of Rotherham an increasing number of families are turning to foodbanks for support. A sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon Him) is to feed the hungry and the merits of doing this are well documented. Hence the idea of opening a foodbank.
Enthusiasm vs Practical Realities
Whilst we are keen and enthusiastic we are also pragmatic realists. Starting and running Ilhaam Foodbank Rotherham is a serious business. One that requires full-time attention. From a quick self assessment we realise that starting and maintaining a fully fledged foodbank will take a great deal of time, effort and expertise.
We also realise that we don’t actually have;
- Much experience in this area
- Enough resources in terms of time, people and most importantly funds
- Any infrastructure i.e. ability to collect, store and distribute food
In short the idea of a starting a fully working foodbank is too much, too soon.
A good dose of tenacity
Fortunately, team Ilhaam are a tenacious bunch and have found a way forward that is within our current capabilities. Learning from our friends at Sheikh Nazim Helping Hands, we are to form links with existing local organisations who are already running established foodbanks.
There are many benefits of this strategy. All of which mean that we are able to begin making a positive contribution to our communities. Many, if not all, of our resource/experience issues are greatly reduced.
Practically this means that we will;
- Be able to spread the word amongst our friends and families that we are now active in helping the needy in Rotherham
- We can BEGIN collecting food
- Start making regular monthly drop offs at the partnered foodbank
- Get invaluable experience of how foodbanks actually work at a practical level
Don’t give in
We’ve never done anything like this before and if we can do it, so can you! At first, the challenges can appear overwhelming, but don’t be deterred. You should acknowledge that not everyone can know everything about everything, and that’s OK. Start small and over time with practical experience you will build your capability to go onto bigger and brighter things.
Watch this space
We are busy working behind the scenes to finalise logistics, collections and administration etc of beginning our very first foodbank. Watch this space for updates!