Charity doesn’t just begin at home, as volunteer Hafiz Hanif found when he launched a local appeal to help Preston’s food bank.
Among donations sent in was a cheque for 2,000 rupees – around £20 – from a family friend who is a teacher at a village school in India.
“There are so many needy people he could give money to in India, yet he chose to send it to the poor of Preston,” said Hanif.
“You usually hear about donations going the opposite way, but this was a very generous act by a very kind man. It was much appreciated.”
Hanif, a part-time teacher and translator in Preston, hit on the idea of raising money to buy food after an article in the Evening Post.
“I saw the billboard outside a newsagent’s shop saying the Salvation Army food bank was short of essential supplies,” he explained. “I bought the paper, read the story and decided I wanted to help.
“I had been looking for a charity to help in my spare time and this one just struck the right chord with me. The thought of families with young children going hungry was quite upsetting.
“A lot of charity work is going on at the moment to help people in places like Iraq and Palestine. Sometimes we forget about what is happening right here on our own doorstep.
“So I went down to the food bank and talked to them about what sorts of things they needed and I set about raising money to buy the items they were short of.”
Hanif, of Holmrook Road, Deepdale, sent out an appeal to family and friends and raised around £500 in a matter of days.
He is now looking to extend the collection to a wider audience in the hope donations will plug seasonal gaps which the food bank experiences in the summer months.
While some foodstuffs are plentiful at the Salvation Army centre in Harrington Street, Preston, others like long life milk, jars of pasta sauce, tinned fruit, coffee, tinned tomatoes and packets of noodles are regularly in short supply.
For information on how to help the Preston food bank call 01772 555425.