A Neasden foodbank has launched a Ramadan fundraiser to support all those in need of aid as the covid pandemic continues to hover over the country.

Sufra NW London, in Pitfield Way, is hoping to raise £60,000 with its Ramadan ‘Love Thy Neighbour’ Appeal 2021.

Ramadan, which began on April 13, follows the sighting of the moon over Mecca and fasting lasts for 30 days.

This month many people are booking restaurants, flights and ‘staycations’ to enjoy newfound freedoms after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a return to "normal life".

But staff at Sufra say a grim reality awaits for society's most vulnerable residents.

Rajesh Makwana, director of Sufra NW, said: “Never has the imperative to ‘Love Thy Neighbour’ been more urgent than it is today.

"We may be coming to an end of the viral stage of COVID-19, but the economic ramifications of this pandemic will be long-term and brutal for the people Sufra NW supports."

Extreme poverty is expected to double in the wake of the pandemic as more businesses collapse and the furlough scheme winds down, he added.

This means twice as many people in Brent are struggling to afford food, pay the bills or keep a roof over their heads.

Migrants, like those the charity supports in its Refugee Resettlement Program, have and continue to be, some of the worst affected.

During the month of Ramadan 2020, Sufra provided a staggering 1,725 food parcels and 8,448 nutritious hot meals to
those unable to feed themselves or their children – including the homeless.

Rajesh added: "Covid-19 didn't create food banks but it has exacerbated the demand for our service.

"By donating to Sufra’s Love Thy Neighbour Ramadan appeal you are helping to ensure our guests won’t go without food and other essentials such as toilet rolls, sanitary towels or nappies.”

To donate visit www.sufra-nwlondon.org.uk/get-involved/ramadan-2021/