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Willesden Green born businessman returns to feed 70 homeless people a hot meal

PUBLISHED: 10:57 07 June 2019

Usman Rashid with his volunteer feeding the homeless at Sufra NW London. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg

Usman Rashid with his volunteer feeding the homeless at Sufra NW London. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg

Jonathan Goldberg

More than 70 homeless people sat down to a hot meal in Stonebridge as part of a businessman's Ramadan good deed.

Volunteer cook up chicken biryani and lentil curry for the homeless at Sufra. Picture: Jonathan GoldbergVolunteer cook up chicken biryani and lentil curry for the homeless at Sufra. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg

Usman Rashid, who was raised in Willesden Green, arranged a dinner party on May 31 at Sufra NW London in Pitfield Way.

Some 80 people tucked into chicken biryani or lentil curry and rice, which was followed by a slice of cake and banana, washed down with a bottle of water.

The former Capital City Academy pupil has since been travelling up the country offering the same to some 1,000 people in need in cities including Luton, Birmingham and Manchester.

Usman, 30, who works for an asset management company, used his own money and asked family members and friends to volunteer alongside volunteers at the foodbank.

Sufra NW London foodbank. Picture: Jonathan GoldbergSufra NW London foodbank. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg

He said: "It was an awesome evening. I was overwhelmed by the smiles on their faces. Even the volunteers were excited to see others come in and serve food to those less fortunate.

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"We are in a better place than others. We could have been in a similar situation as them. If I was there in that position, how I would feel if someone gave me a hot meal?"

Last year he toured shelters and streets giving out more than 1,500 bags consisting of a container of chicken and rice, a banana and a bottle of water with a napkin and plastic spoon in each.

"This year we have changed the way of working a little and served the meals in homeless day centres and food banks across the country," he said. "Although when we got out of London, JD sports gave us 80 bags which we filled for the homeless with necessities."

He hopes to be able to offer a hot meal monthly in Brent in the future.

"In the month of Ramadan we gain more rewards by giving to charity. I want to show awareness to others of what we are doing, open their eyes and do the same, follow in our footsteps, maybe by giving back to the community like we do."

Sufra's interim director Rajesh Makwana, said: "Our guests loved the traditional Asian meal that they were served - many people commented on how delicious it was. It was a very special evening and we are most grateful to Mr Rashid and his colleagues for their generous support.

"They hoped their actions would inspire others to do the same, and I am sure it will."

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