We are growing our relationship with Sufra-NW London, a community food bank and kitchen, based in Stonebridge Park in the London Borough of Brent, which aims to support disadvantaged families suffering food poverty. Some of Sufra’s guests are asylum seekers, some suffer from poverty despite working long hours and others are plagued by either or both physical and emotional difficulties. Sufra’s multi-faith staff and volunteers offer guests a safe haven; meals, food parcels, practical advice and referrals and emotional support. There are fully certified and effective job training programmes and an ethos of guests trained to becoming helpful volunteers, too. I have been consistently impressed by the high calibre of the small army of committed teenaged volunteers; energetic, intelligent, caring and imbued with humour and a love of life.
During the last year on a bi-monthly basis, together with a few Mosaic congregants, I have joined Sufra’s Friday evening dinners. We light candles and converse with the other guests, some of whom are deeply troubled and very lonely. For this mitzvah of simply offering dignity to our fellow human beings, Sufra awarded our community a certificate recognizing our involvement. This happened in March, at a special event on the occasion of the charity’s fifth anniversary. Finally, I should also mention that this week Cathy and I are subsisting on a typical food parcel –that we purchased from Sufra– in order to experience more fully what is provided to needy households.–Rabbi Dr Frank Dabba Smith