Muslim women volunteer their time to cook free meals during Melbourne’s COVID-19 lockdown

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  • Muslim women gave up time to feed needy during second COVID-19 lockdown 

  • Hoped program will change attitudes towards Muslim women in the community
  • Every Friday women cook meals like chicken korma and lentil soup for the needy
  • Food served in packs from Moreland City Council kitchen that can last for days 

A group of female Muslim volunteers have given up their time to cook free meals for families struggling to put food on the table during Melbourne‘s second COVID-19 lockdown.

Muslim women volunteer their time to cook free meals during Melbourne's COVID-19 lockdown
A group of volunteers from Muslim Women’s Council of Victoria are giving up their time to cook free meals for the community as Melbourne struggles through its second COVID-19 lockdown

Every Friday women from across the city’s Muslim community cook up dishes including chicken korma, lentil soup and rice from a commercial kitchen provided by Moreland City Council in Melbourne’s north.

The head of the volunteer group said she hoped the program would change attitudes about Muslim women’s participation in Australian society.

‘There is a stereotype of women in hijab that they are not doing anything for the community,’ Muslim Women’s Council of Victoria chairperson Afshan Mantoo told SBS Urdu.

Muslim women volunteer their time to cook free meals during Melbourne's COVID-19 lockdown
The food is served in large packs that the council say can last families for as long as three days

‘When someone takes food, they say, ‘oh! a Muslim woman is doing something’; it feels good.’

She said those who take the food are from a variety of personal backgrounds and religions – from white Australians to Indians and Sikhs.

‘Students, families, refugees and people from all walks of life come and take the food we prepare,’ she said.

The food is served in large packs that can last families for as long as three days – with staff taking additional steps including mask-wearing and regular temperature checks to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines. 

Ms Mantoo said the group of volunteers themselves came from many different walks of life, giving up time from their regular day jobs to help those suffering the most from the effects of lock down. 

Melbourne returned to stage three social distancing restrictions on July 8 as COVID-19 infections surged in Australia’s second most populated city.

Muslim women volunteer their time to cook free meals during Melbourne's COVID-19 lockdown
The volunteers cook the meals each Friday for those who can’t afford to put food on the table during Melbourne’s second COVID-19 lockdown

Those living in Melbourne and neighbouring Mitchell Shire can only leave home for one four essential reasons – shopping for food and supplies, to give care, exercise or to study and work. 

Victoria on Sunday confirmed another 459 coronavirus cases and 10 more deaths from the respiratory illness.

Premier Daniel Andrews has refused to say whether the six-week lockdown, which is almost halfway through, would be extended or finish on time.


Source: Dailymail.co.uk

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