Corona virus has hit us all unexpectedly and has affected a lot of people within Brent. We want to face the challenge of Covid-19 together as a community and take care of our people as best we can but we need your help to make this happen. Your gift of financial support, time, business partnership and food can make a real difference.
Mutual Aid Food Willesden (MAFW) is a food hub offering emergency food and essential aid during Covid-19. It is a cross-community collaboration which fills in the gaps until a more permanent arrangement can be put into place with an existing long-term food bank, if necessary.
Upon request from any source we provide undocumented and unconditional initial aid, if we have the capacity, consisting of three days’ nutritionally balanced food. Anyone can complete an online form requesting a delivery to support the specific needs of a local household. We work with partners to identify households in need, including Barnardo's, Ashford Place (homeless charity), Iraqi Welfare Association, Pakistan Community Centre, Christians Against Poverty and other religious networks, Barnet Refugee Service (which serves a lot of Brent-based families) and the Mutual Aid groups set up to cover each council ward.
We focus on supporting people within Brent, especially the neighbouring wards of Dudden Hill, Dollis Hill, Mapesbury, Willesden Green and Kensal Green. However, we will support any household with an initial request for food and essential aid if we can.
Mutual Aid Food Willesden uses the Pakistan Community Centre (PCC) in Willesden Green, rent free, as our base. We are entirely run by a team of volunteers drawn from local mutual aid groups and all Brent’s communities.
We have also given food and essential aid donations with other food aid kitchens in the local area such as Granville Kitchen, Trussell Trust’s Brent Food Bank, SUFRA, Community Response Kitchen (Daksha), Naz’s Kitchen, St Raphael’s estate, Kensal Green’s The Avenue, Maqan Centre and Salusbury World as well as Ealing, Barnet and Harrow Food Mutual Aid groups.
Demand has grown and since the beginning of the project Mutual Aid Food Willesden has provided food and essential aid to over 6000 people in over 2300 households and raised over £40,000. We are entirely dependent on donations of money, food and practical help from individuals and local businesses.
A look behind the scenes at the Food Hub
What we do
We provide emergency food aid adapted to dietary preferences
Since starting at the end of March, we have provided emergency food parcels to nearly 2000 households. That's 4735 people.
Our parcels include:
Dry store essentials
• Pasta or rice, tins of beans, meat, fish, vegetables.
• Fruit and vegetables
• Long life milk
• Other perishable foods (e.g. bread)
• Toiletries, baby products, cleaning products
Whenever it is possible, we adapt the box contents to your dietary or religious requirements and replace some food items to suit your traditional eating preferences.
In addition to food parcels, we work with other food initiatives across the borough to provide hot meals.
We can deliver to your doorstep
During this challenging time, it is difficult to go out for many of you. You are not alone – we have an army of friendly volunteers to deliver the food to you. You can also collect your food parcel from our centre at the Pakistan Community Centre next to Willesden Green tube station.
We partner with existing charities
To quickly reach out to families who need help because of financial or physical barriers,
Mutual Aid Food Willesden is working with charities such as Barnado's and Ashford Place.
Mutual Aid Food Willesden aims to meet the needs of local people with the delivery of essential food parcels, until they can be supported longer term.
Thanks to donations from individuals and from businesses, we try to fill in the gaps between existing Brent food banks and those local charities which have either closed or which need support due to looking after an increasing number of people in need.
We don't think it's right that food goes to waste or landfill when it could be used by people who need to eat so we act as a redistribution hub for surplus food, which goes to many community food initiatives and community kitchens. Food surplus can come from various sources: supermarkets, wholesalers, food manufacturers or even temples. At the food hub it is used in our food parcels or redistributed within the local charity sector.