Hundreds could soon be left without basic necessities in Dundee as a local foodbank faces being made homeless within weeks.
Taught by Muhammad, which has seen unprecedented demand during the pandemic, has been desperately trying to find a new home as its current leased premises nears being sold.
With a current removal date of March 31, the Dunsinane Avenue charity is appealing for help from the public so it can continue delivering food to homes.
It is part of Yusuf Youth Initiative (YYI), which runs several other community outreach projects, which are also now in jeopardy.
‘People will not be able to feed themselves’
YYI CEO Faisal Hussein said the situation is scary for staff, volunteers and those who desperately need its services.
He is appealing for help from any businesses or individuals who can offer even a temporary home.
He said: “Many people will no longer receive our foodbank parcels if we end up in the worst case scenario without somewhere to operate out of.
“100%, people will not be able to feed themselves.
“We’re a charity that is otherwise quite strong and we don’t ask for donations. It’s just the space that’s the problem.
“If anyone has a building which we can use, please get in touch with us.”
The majority of these have already packed up and left.
Taught by Muhammad currently sends out around 100 parcels per week to people in an emergency and struggling financially.
Since Covid-19 crippled the UK, around 6000 individual parcels have been dropped off by volunteers at homes throughout the city.
It would usually deliver half this number in a year.
Many of these people are referred to them by Dundee City Council. They include those who have lost jobs due to lockdown measures and people in debt.
Mr Hussein said the charity is filling in where the welfare system fails.
He said: “There is an immediate need and if that is not fulfilled then it could jeopardise services across the city.
“Charities are actually doing the work that the local authorities and government should be doing.
“We should not be giving out food parcels. Welfare support isn’t a charity’s job.
“When charities like ours take on this job, surely we should be getting a level of support?
“I’m not asking for thousands of pounds, it’s just a building.
“Under the current arrangement, we don’t pay any rent and that allows us to help many more people.
“We have another small building at Bellfield Street, which is basically a cupboard, and we pay rent for that.
“We can’t afford to pay commercial rates on two buildings though.
“I believe if there was enough will from Dundee City Council, a space would be found.”
A Dundee City Council spokesperson said: “Taught by Muhammad are an important part of the city-wide network of projects providing emergency food to communities.
“The council is aware of the current circumstances and is in regular contact with the project to discuss property and service delivery requirements to ensure that it can continue to contribute to the work co-ordinated by the independent Dundee Food Insecurity Network.”