A Midlands charity we’re out feeding the homeless during the month of Ramadan.
Volunteers from the charity As-Suffa fast for up to 19 hours a day during the holy month.
One member Taz Khan, 36, admits it is hard serving food while hungry themselves but says volunteers are fuelled by their faith.
He said: “It’s difficult because the fasts are long, they go from 3.30am to 9pm.
“At the end of this long 18/19 hour fast you are serving hot food to people – food you cannot eat. That part can be difficult but you know why you are doing it and you know by 9pm you will eat.
“We will be back in our warm houses but there are people out there who do not have that luxury.
“For me, it is to be internally grateful and appreciate what you do have.”
As-Suffa, has centres in Walsall, Coventry, have provided a quarter of a million hot meals to the homeless since 2012.
The project redoubles its efforts during Ramadan as twice as many people want to get involved and they operate seven-nights-a-week instead of four.
Mr Khan said: “It’s easier to do this during Ramadan than any other month because whilst your energy levels are naturally low, spiritually you are on a high.”
The science teacher from Alum Rock explained how a typical evening went.
He said: “The volunteers will get to Lionel Street at 7pm where it’s all set up.
“Someone will go to collect the food which is cooked fresh.
“We will have a team meeting before we start so everyone is at their stations and knows what they’re doing.
“At 7.30pm we will open our doors. As the people come in, we ask them to sign in and that’s where we greet them. The emphasis is to help people out of poverty and crisis.”
Mr Khan said: “One of the reasons we have people come back to us is that we do not dehumanise them. This could happen to anyone.
“We’ve had successful people come here like former bankers, former teachers, people who have been stable and then lost their jobs and cannot pay their rent.
“Our motto is the best of people are those who benefit mankind – that fuels everything we do.”
Volunteer Khalid Yaqub, a 57-year-old former electronics engineer, added: “I realised that homelessness or poverty can affect anyone from any background and I would hope that if I were ever in that situation I would like to know that there was someone out there who would help me.
“Feeding people while fasting is sometimes testing especially when you can see and smell all the nice hot food which we serve.
“However, I know that I will soon be fortunate enough to go home and have a lovely meal and warm bed and family to welcome me.
“While our guests will return to the streets or hostels to begin their battle for survival with no certainty of where or when their next meal will be until we open up again to welcome them”.