Mutual Aid Food Willesden announces partnership with Sufra and the PCC

19 August 2020 MUTUAL AID FOOD WILLESDEN ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH SUFRA AND THE PCC We are excited to announce a new partnership between Mutual Aid Food Willesden (MAFW), Sufra NW London (Sufra) and Pakistan Community Centre (PCC). The new project will replace MAFW’s emergency food aid initiative which will deliver its last parcel on 28 August 2020. From September a new project will begin with MAFW running a food bank once a week in conjunction with Sufra to provide emergency food aid to local residents from the PCC on one day a week. The MAFW team of volunteers believe that working with Sufra will build more structure and sustainability into what we created during lockdown and enable us to support people in the community long-term. Thanks to our whole Brent community, who gave cash, support and time to create and sustain Mutual Aid Food Willesden, we have provided food parcels five days a week to over 9,000 people so far. The PCC has been integral, providing full-time premises to MAFW rent free for 23 weeks. It has been amazing to see how people came together to meet local need, working together and supporting one another in this time of crisis under the banner of Mutual Aid. At the beginning of lockdown well established food banks like Sufra were feeling the pressure as the number of requests for help tripled.Now, partnering under the Sufra umbrella means MAFW and the local community will continue to benefit. We will continue to provide food parcels locally and will in future be able to offer our volunteers access to training courses.We are happy the Pakistan Community Centre is also partnering with us as we have built a base which many locals have come to know well. We are so grateful to all the donors and the volunteers who have been involved in the current project over the last months and would encourage you all to stay in touch. We expect to communicate more details in the near future including specifics about new volunteering opportunities and training courses. We live in such an amazing community, and in these unprecedented times we can continue make a difference. Thank you for all of your continued support. Notes for editors: Mutual Aid Food Willesden (MAFW), a food hub offering emergency food and essential aid locally. (www.mutualaidfoodwillesden.co.uk ) Mutual Aid Food Willesden has operated as a food hub and distribution centre five days a week since lockdown began, providing emergency food aid and other essentials to households and individuals across Brent. The current project is being run under the mutual aid umbrella for 23 weeks from 23 March 2020 to 28 August 2020 and is entirely run by unpaid volunteers. We draw volunteers from across Brent: MAFW started in Brent’s Mapesbury ward, expanded to Willesden Green, Dudden Hill and Dollis Hill and then Kensal Green. Subsequently volunteers have also come from further afield. The local Pakistan Community Centre (PCC) kindly offered the premises rent-free during this project and we provide regular aid to help around 500 people a week funded by LocalGiving donations and grants. The partnership with Sufra and PCC means that MAFW will operate under the SUFRA umbrella, renting space from PCC in order to provide food and essential aid to local walk-in residents once a week from September 2020. Pakistan Community Centre (PCC), Pakistan Welfare Association. Registered charity no: 1088884 Sufra NW London (Registered Charity No. 1151911) is a Community Hub that provides a lifeline to people in crisis – including families living in extreme poverty and people who are vulnerable, homeless or socially isolated. We provide them with the food and support they need to survive, empower them to learn new skills and improve their wellbeing, and help them to find work and become financially stable. Our core work focuses on providing emergency food aid through our Food Bank and Community Kitchen, but these are gateway services that enable our service users (we call them guests) to access a wider range of services and activities designed to address the root causes of poverty and homelessness. To find out more about the Food Bank and the wide range of additional services we provide, please visit: https://www.sufra-nwlondon.org.uk/.

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