BIRMINGHAM – A group of Muslim volunteers helped feed thousands of Birmingham’s homeless residents in 2017 as part of their efforts to help their community, which included collecting rubbish and campaigning against speeding.
“We make sure that no one goes to sleep hungry,” Imran Hameed, co-founder of the Bearded Broz told HuffPost UK.
“It’s a part of our religion. A Muslim is not a Muslim if he sleeps at night satisfied while his neighbor goes hungry.”
Offering a helping hand to their community during a crisis across the West Midlands, Hameed and Naveed Sadiq run a 24-hour emergency food bank.
Over the past year, they also cooperated with the authorities and police to tackle other local issues when they arose.
Food parcels provided by Bearded Broz, which came as a lifeline for many, contain non-perishable essentials to combat hunger such as tinned beans, pasta, tins of tuna, long life milk, biscuits, rice pudding, sugar, tea and more.
“Some people burst into tears at the doorstep when we arrive with food because they haven’t eaten in days,” Imran explained.
“My greatest wish for 2018 is that no one in the United Kingdom goes hungry.”
The Muslim volunteers’ effort was slowly inspiring the community, with many people joining them to help others.
“We have a full-time lady by the name of Jodie who was helped by the Broz. She now spends her time at our head office helping people in need,” Imran said.
Jodie, 29, from Erdington, was homeless when she heard about the Bearded Broz.
“We found an ad on Facebook for Bearded Broz, messaged them and within half an hour I had a phone call from Imran himself,” Jodie told HuffPost UK. “He brought us a food parcel that day and continued to help the homeless hostel where I was living at the time.”
“Shortly after, I managed to get myself back on my feet again,” she added.
Jodie is now a full-time member answering phones, packing food bags and dealing with volunteers.
“Years ago I wouldn’t have ever thought about doing this kind of work, but then I ended up on the streets myself,” she said.
Remembering the number of people who helped her in the past, she said it’s “important to give a bit back to the community.”