Oxford City Council supports Grand Iftar event for Ramadan

Published: Thursday, 14th May 2020

Oxford City Council is giving its support to the Oxford Homeless Project’s Grand Iftar event, which will provide 1,500 hot meals to people across the city tomorrow (Friday 15 May).

The Grand Iftar celebrates and connects Oxford's diverse communities, people of faith and no faith during Ramadan over an Iftar (breaking of the fast) meal. This year, because of the Covid-19 lockdown, this cannot be organised as a citywide meeting to enjoy an Iftar meal together.

Instead volunteers will organise and deliver at least 1,500 delicious meals to people in our city. The initiative has been organised by Oxford Homeless Project with the support of Oxford City Council, Oxford Mutual Aid, Oxford Community Action and many local businesses.

The City Council is supporting the initiative as part of its emergency help during the coronavirus crisis, providing financial support and cars and drivers to help with food deliveries. The council’s East Oxford community centre will be used as the distribution centre, where meals are assembled and sent out, and the council is supplying PPE for the whole operation.

The council has teamed up with community organisations across the city who can help reach those most in need, from Oxford mosques, homelessness organisations, to community associations and voluntary sector partner Oxford Hub.

Through these partnerships the council can make sure it is reaching many more people in local areas and different communities, and is using existing knowledge and expertise in the community to make sure no one is forgotten.

“I’ve been impressed by the way so many people in Oxford, and so many different communities, have responded to help each other during this crisis. We really are seeing the best in people, going out of their way to help neighbours and strangers, and I know that we will continue to need this spirit to get us through the months ahead.

“Ramadan is a month of giving as well as fasting. The Grand Iftar from Oxford Homeless Project will give 1500 meals, not only to the homeless but to anyone in need. I’m delighted we’re able to support this project and I encourage anyone who feels they or someone they know would benefit from a meal to get in touch with the Grand Iftar.”

Councillor Marie Tidball, cabinet member for supporting local communities

“These past few months have been a challenging time for everyone. Every year we organise a Grand Iftar, but this year it feels more important than ever to share what we have with people across the city. This has been a collaborative team effort with Oxford Mutual Aid, Oxford Community Action, Oxford City Council and many local businesses. 

“We’ve had a fantastic response from our online appeal, we look forward to breaking fast together and bringing some joy to the people of Oxford even though we are apart.”

Shabnam Sabir BEM from Oxford Homeless Project

To request a meal please contact the Grand Iftar on 07384 939 022. You can also donate to support a meal by visiting https://www.gofundme.com/f/grand-iftar