Muddassar Ahmed has now taken the reins as chair of Bow Food Bank. (@MMuddassarAhmed)
Muddassar Ahmed now chairs one of the UK’s largest independent food banks
“What’s more important in life than making sure people in your local community are fed?”
LONDON: A leading figure in the UK’s Muslim community has been appointed to chair one of the country’s largest independent food banks, vowing to confront the poverty that has spiked in his community since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
British-Pakistani Londoner Muddassar Ahmed rose to prominence by heading one of the UK’s most influential communications firms and advising the government on countering Islamophobia.
But, he told Arab News, the pandemic and its ensuing economic crisis showed him just how important it is that he looks local for his next endeavor.
Ahmed has now taken the reins as chair of Bow Food Bank, and has set his sights on countering one of the most critical — and underreported — issues to emerge as a result of the pandemic: Food poverty among Britain’s ethnic minorities.
“What’s more important in life than making sure people in your local community are fed? I can’t think of anything more important than that,” he said.
Since the start of the pandemic, the number of people in Tower Hamlets — the part of London where Ahmed grew up, and the location of Bow Food Bank — relying on food banks weekly has increased by 800 percent.
“Many of those coming to us at Bow Food Bank have never used a food bank before, but the national COVID-19 emergency has drastically changed their circumstances,” Ahmed said.