Caring John and his team ensured locals didn’t go hungry during the pandemic lockdown
A group of thoughtful volunteers has been delivering much-needed food parcels to members of the BAME community to ensure no one goes hungry in lockdown.
We’ve partnered with KFC to celebrate all the fantastic ways people and communities are trying to get back to normal.
John Kabuye, 45, was on the verge of opening Middlesbrough's Ubuntu Multicultural Centre before the country plunged into lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic. A place to offer support, advice and guidance to people from ethnic minorities in the local area, plans had to be scrapped as social distancing rules were introduced.
But John knew there were people in need of food who weren’t forthcoming in asking for help, so he decided to take the food to them.
John, his wife Irene and several others behind the project have been delivering food parcels for the last few months to those who would have otherwise benefited from visiting the centre.
John and Irene are Ugandan and have lived in Middlesbrough for almost 10 years.
They know the struggles people from the BAME communities can face, so wanted to bring help to those who would otherwise suffer in silence.
John said: “The BAME community and the black communities are not accessing services. It doesn’t mean that services are not there, but people are not accessing them because I feel there is a stigma that we are not allowed and that people don’t want us.
John and the team were delivering food parcels four days a week
“People have gone back into hiding, into isolation and believe that if they ask for things, they won’t get them. We wanted the multicultural centre to be a link to show people that there is help, you can seek help and information and nobody is going to judge you.
“But, of course, before we launched, the pandemic kicked in. The need at the time was food. So we thought, let’s start giving people food. Let’s seek donations; let’s seek funding.”
John is looking forward to opening the multicultural centre in the future where he can offer a safe space for people to meet, communicate, learn how to grow their own produce and in the future, access courses to help them gain training and employment.
And now that lockdown restrictions are lifting, John and his team are delivering food only one or two days a week.
With John’s plans of opening the multicultural centre drawing closer, there’s another change that’s brought a smile to our faces, and that’s KFC.
You might have missed your favourite box meal, made all the more delicious with 11 herbs and spices, during lockdown but the good news is all KFC restaurants are open and welcoming diners to enjoy succulent crispy coated chicken once again, in the restaurant and via delivery.
But remember that thing they’ve been saying for 64 years? Ignore it, as with the world drastically changing of late, we’ve all got to embrace a change. Its still KFC but It’s ****** ******* Good for the foreseeable.
As well as receiving food donations from groups such as FareShare and Barefoot Kitchen, John has been topping up food parcels with the results of his own allotment.
“I run the allotment not only for the produce, but I also wanted to show that you can grow food here,” added John.
“The allotment has been good to grow food and share it with people. It’s also a great way to demonstrate and show people what is possible. We can teach people how to grow food in their homes and from there we can attract our communities to come to the allotment.”
John has also received funding from the National Lottery to continue his good work in the community.
“They gave us some money to put some culture food into our parcels. Because I know people need to connect with where they’re from, it’s good for their whole being,” he added.
Source: Daily Mirror