Muslim Women’s Curry Circle feed over 20,000 in Bradford
I commend the work of the Muslim Women’s Council’s flagship Curry Circle project and the impact it continues to have on providing a vital lifeline for so many of the most vulnerable in our communities. – Volunteer Nasim Ali
Destitution in the form of child and food poverty and homelessness are becoming a common reality for an increasing number of people across the UK.
And one part of the country that is certainly feeling the squeeze is the city of Bradford in West Yorkshire.
In a report published by homelessness charity group Shelter and based on data from the Department for Communities and Local Government, there are more than 140 children from 73 families officially classed as homeless in said district.
Although the city is described by the Muslim Women’s Council (MWC) as “an ethnically and culturally diverse population” that “respect and celebrate their differences”, people there still face “both high levels of inequality and deprivation”.
The Bradford-based non-profit organisation, whose “mission is to empower women for the benefit of society”, blames “the Government’s reform of the benefits system [which] is likely to increase the risk of the most vulnerable households becoming homeless”.
It says that “demand for homelessness prevention and on the District’s statutory homelessness service has increased since 2009”.
In 2013, MWC launched its flagship initiative, the Curry Circle, that aimed “to help those less fortunate across the Bradford District, through providing a free hot curry on a weekly basis for homeless/ destitute people”.
The project proved so popular and successful that a second Curry Circle was launched in Keighley two years later.
According to dedicated volunteer, Nasim Ali, the Bradford Curry Circle has served over 20,000 meals every Thursday from 7pm to 8pm (Monday from 7pm to 8pm in Keighley) since its inception.
Nasim said on Facebook that due to “the prevailing economic situation, more and more people are suffering from food poverty with our service users from all communities and religious backgrounds”.
He added: “I commend the work of the Muslim Women’s Council’s flagship Curry Circle project and the impact it continues to have on providing a vital lifeline for so many of the most vulnerable in our communities.”
While hundreds of volunteers have given their time and effort in making it such a success, the weekly kitchen has been kept going through sponsorship by individuals and businesses, as well as international humanitarian aid organisations like SKT Welfare and MyLahore.
One kind sponsor, who has been selflessly sponsoring the initiative once a month since November 2016, is Shiraz Ahmed of Saveco Cash & Carry.
“We have arranged for a catering group to provide the food every week for approximately 90 people (numbers are monitored on a week to week basis),” said Nasim.
He also revealed some “service users informing us of  not having had food or surviv[ing] on a crisp packet for the whole day. Others spend 45 minutes walking to the Soup Kitchen from other parts of Bradford despite the harsh winter conditions”.
The Curry Circle is, therefore, a vital means in not just providing free hot curries and hot drinks, but also a clean, warm environment for anyone seeking good company.
Carlisle Business Centre, Carlisle Road, Bradford BD8 8BD.
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 9:30-17:30 | Sat-Sun Closed