Posted: Tuesday - March 19, 2024 1:12 pm     
A Birmingham charity is working to support vulnerable people through the cost of living crisis. The Social Unity Foundation of Innovation (SUFI) helps develop projects and activities that will encourage self-help, advance education and promote life-long learning and social well-being.

“Mainly we work with young people, families, victims of domestic abuse - those who are vulnerable,” said chairman of SUFI, Makhdoom Chishti.

SUFI provides a number of different services including a food bank, income advice and residential weekends.

“Our volunteers go directly into the community to support people. For example, we host residential weekends for young people, together with their families. People who otherwise wouldn’t be able to go on holiday,” Makhdoom added.

SUFI is truly at the heart of the Birmingham community and works with several voluntary groups, organisations and individuals, all who share one common goal - improving the quality of life for people in the community.

“We have people who come directly to us for food, but we also work with a number of charities and organisations where food is supplied, such as care homes and women’s shelters,” said Makhdoom

Makhdoom also spoke about how SUFI works at cross cultural level to build a tolerant society and to enhance opportunities for all.

“We are an organic organisation that moves around to support people’s needs. 

“We build up relationships with people from all communities, we host festivals and events where people from different communities can share their culture, share their food, their experiences and learn from each other.”

SUFI has worked in partnership with FareShare since 2015 and receives a wide range of food and drink, that it uses to stock its own food bank but also to distribute to people directly in the community.

“We collect food from Tesco, Asda and the FareShare depot,” said Makhdoom

“We get a combination of drinks and food such as rice, curry, fresh fruit and veg, children’s meals, crisp and fish products. We also distribute food directly in the community to older people who may struggle to get out.”

Makhdoom spoke about how important food was to SUFI and how far it goes in supporting the organisation to help people.

“Food is a need. Before 2010, there wasn’t many food banks but day by day the need has grown. 

“Covid and the current economic disaster means people are struggling to afford food to feed their families, this is why we need to help.”

If you would like to get good surplus food to charities like SUFI, please make a donation today:
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