Graduates deliver meals to local homeless shelters for Eid

Sami Ahmed and Lavinia Sgarabotto

Two University of Brighton graduates enlisted the help of local restaurants to deliver over 70 meals to four homeless shelters around Brighton over the weekend, in celebration of the Islamic holiday Eid.

Sami Ahmed, 23, had the idea when he was walking home and noticed many people looking like they needed help and a warm meal. Sami, who works part time at the Curry Leaf Cafe, approached friend Lavinia Sgarabotto, 24, to help deliver the food.

Together, they launched the project, Do They Know It’s Eid, in hope that restaurants around the city would help them spread the community spirit by donating food items, packaging and utensils for them to prepare and cook on the Friday before Eid.

Leaving home at 18, Sami was starting to miss Eid and being around family at this time, as it was the third Eid without them. So he got thinking, “how many people don’t have that choice?”

Remembering back to his childhood, he said “my family would always make me go and give food to the neighbours, it was a cringey experience at the time, but maybe that’s where it all starts!”

Calling on the help of Curry Leaf Cafe, Malika Restaurant, Kitgum, Lavash, Brighton Curry, Cardamom and Bismillah Spice of Life, the pair stored, cooked and packaged every meal, labelling for allergens and delivering to the shelters themselves.

They managed to catch the attention of Citizen Khan actor and Good Morning Britain host, Adil Ray, who reposted their call for donations on Instagram.

The pair have just completed their MA in Globalisation and are involved in a lot of volunteer and charity work around the city, with Sami volunteering at Trust for Developing Communities and working for the NHS full time.

When asked what’s next for the project, Sami said “considering this was just an idea two weeks ago, I think we can do bigger and better next time.”

They have already spoken to Bismillah Spice of Life owner, Mohammed Asaduzzman, who expressed his desire to work on a future event at his restaurant, and will be working with charities to make this happen.

You can follow the project on Twitter and Instagram and continue to donate to the fundraiser here:

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