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Islamic Relief staff member alongside tinned food items.

Islamic Relief UK launches its largest ever Winter Food Distribution in the face of the severe cost-of-living crisis

The charity is calling on the government to act now to help vulnerable families as its partners report a worsening situation across the country.

Islamic Relief UK has begun distributing food packs across the country to over 42,000 people, who have been affected by the cost-of-living crisis, while also calling on the UK government to take action to help the most vulnerable. 

Currently one in three children in the UK (around four million) live in homes without adequate access to food, while one in five people in the UK live in poverty. While the charity and its local partners are doing what they can to help support those suffering from food insecurity, Islamic Relief UK is also calling upon the government to act.

To relieve the pressure on vulnerable families, Islamic Relief UK is asking the government to bring back the £20 uplift to Universal Credit and raise benefit payments in line with inflation. Crucially, the charity asks for a fundamental review of the UK’s social security system to ensure benefits provide people with adequate income to cover their most basic needs. 

Due to the rising cost-of-living crisis in the UK, Islamic Relief’s local partners across the country have reported increased numbers of people using their food bank services as they’re no longer able to adequately afford to feed their families. Unfortunately, the burden has been exacerbated as many partners have also reported a drop in donations as many individuals and companies who normally donate, just do not have sufficient disposable income to be able to give as they did before. 

Islamic Relief is working with 28 partners across the country including football clubs like Liverpool FC, Celtic FC, Burnley FC, Leicester City, Aston Villa and Salford City. It is also working with local food banks to bring relief to suffering families including East London Mosque, Newham Community Project, One Roof Leicester, Association of Scottish Muslims, Al Hijrah Food Bank, Felix Project, Crookston Community Group, Birmingham Central Mosque, and many others. 

Zia Salik, deputy director, Islamic Relief UK says “Winter is often the hardest time of the year for vulnerable people in society. But now with the cost-of-living crisis so brutally affecting many across the country, this time of the year has grown colder still. Even more people have been pushed into vulnerability and those already there pushed deeper into poverty. Many families now must choose between food and fuel, not being able to afford to keep their children both warm and fed.

“But despite this, hope is not frozen, and thanks to the amazing generosity of our community who still give what they can, even in the hardest of times when money is scarce, the days seem to be getting brighter. It’s only thanks to the community’s brilliant response that we’re able to launch this winter food drive to bring food to struggling families. We now call on those with power to do something about this crisis. The government can and should take measures to help by reviewing the faltering benefits system and bringing back the £20 uplift to Universal Credit.”


Notes to editors:

If you would like more information about the distribution, or would like to visit one of our local partners for an interview please contact

William Jones: [email protected]; 07543221746 or

Jonaid Jilani: [email protected]; 07872 403534

About Islamic Relief 

Islamic Relief is a faith-inspired, development and humanitarian agency working to transform and save the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in over 40 countries. Islamic Relief assists people according to need and does not discriminate in any way. 

Set up in Birmingham in 1984 by a group of volunteers, we have assisted over 117 million people all over the world. We’re saving lives and empowering people to lift themselves out of poverty in over 40 countries – from Bangladesh to Bosnia, Pakistan to Palestine, Kenya to Kosovo. Islamic Relief is on the ground in some of the world’s most dangerous and difficult places – including Syria and Yemen – strengthening the most marginalised communities to withstand conflict and natural disasters and to build a brighter future. We also support vulnerable people in the UK in partnership with local charities and organisations.

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