The Duchess of Sussex has donated £10,000 from The Royal Foundation to local charity Himmah, a Hyson Green community project that tackles poverty, racism and social exclusion.
Based in Gamble Street, Himmah provides more than 650 emergency food parcels every month to people across the city, as well as serving more than 60 hot meals every week.
The donation from Meghan’s foundation has been put towards stocking the food bank and purchasing equipment as well as providing vital funds for the Salaam Shalom Kitchen – the only joint Muslim and Jewish community kitchen in the UK.
“For ages I thought the whole thing was a hoax!” said Sajid Mohammed, director at Himmah.
“They kept emailing me and ringing me about the donation saying it was from the Duchess of Sussex and I just couldn’t believe it – I was utterly gobsmacked and hugely humbled that Meghan knew about our charity and wanted to support us. It’s an absolutely incredible sum and we’re so very grateful.”
The donation was comprised of revenue raised for The Royal Foundation from the sale of Together: Our Community Cookbook. The Duchess of Sussex gifted the donation so that the charity can ‘continue transforming lives through the power of cooking and food’.
Karen Worth. co-chair and trustee Salaam Shalom Kitchen, said: “We are so delighted and pleased that Salaam Shalom Kitchen has been noticed and chosen by the Duchess of Sussex. The money given to us by her foundation will help to continue our important work in Hyson Green area of Nottingham, which is one the most deprived areas of the city.
“Post initial Covid lockdown period we have managed to re-open since start of August. Even though our usual venue The Bridge centre remains closed, we are committed to continuing to assist those experiencing food poverty, for whatever reason. Every Wednesday, we are outside The Bridge centre, whatever the weather, giving out a hot meal, supermarket donations and a friendly hello to anyone who needs this. Initially we were giving out 60 meals each week, this has now increased to 90+ each week.
“We are a joint small local Jewish and Muslim run charity, working to break down perceived barriers between people and creating cohesion. We have a large number of varied volunteers, who help prepare and cook food in the Nottingham Liberal Synagogue and then hand it out outside the Bridge Centre.”
Himmah also has its own food shop called ‘The Pantry’, where people on benefits and struggling to get by can purchase quality food at a heavily discounted price.
Sajid continued: “This year has been incredibly tough for a lot of people, we’ve seen a huge increase in uptake for our services since the start of the pandemic. The Pantry will help people back on their route to independence, which is what we try to achieve; rather than a model of dependence on emergency food parcels.”
In a bid to tackle racism and social exclusion, Himmah provides education through services, campaigning, heritage and arts provision, bringing together the wider Nottingham community.
Emma Houghton (volunteer) – email@example.com
Sajid Mohammed – Saj@himmah.org