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Christian food banks 'unintentionally excluding' people of other faiths

Mon 13 Feb 2017
By Marcus Jones

Food banks run by churches are often unintentionally excluding people from ethnic groups according to a new study.

A report by the University of York has looked at 67 food aid providers in Bradford - a city with a 25 per cent Muslim population.

It found little provision for the culinary needs of Muslims despite the local demographic context.

Researchers also raised concern over the ethnic make-up of the staff at the food aid providers.

They said: "Perhaps surprisingly, given Bradford's ethnic diversity, clients of food aid providers were predominantly white.

"In particular, Christian food banks and soup kitchens reported serving very few Pakistani and/or Muslim clients."

The study also suggested that the findings may also be explained by the number of people needing emergency food was lower amongst Muslims - often due to support within their social networks and the local mosque.

PA Wire

 

Christian charity Trussell Trust provides the vast majority of food banks across the UK,

Welcoming the findings on Premier's News Hour, Adrian Curtis from the charity said: "We would love to understand that dynamic a little bit better so perhaps we can look at providing some really good practice to churches, engaging with these communities so that we can make sure every unmet need is being captured and met.

He also encouraged Christians who donate to food banks to consider the types of food they bring forward.

"Foodbanks are an expression of the Christian message of wanting to help people who are in a condition of desperate need," he said. "When we do it to the least we're doing it to Jesus therefore we would want to encourage Christians and churches that work with foodbanks to think about the products they are donating so we can make sure no one in their local community would face hunger and be in this terrible situation where they have to rely on emergency food aid."

Listen to Adrian Curtis speaking on Premier's News Hour:

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