The Order of British Empire medal has been given to a British Pakistani for his services to the residents of Hounslow, as he serves meals to families having low incomes.
Ehsan Shahid, who is also the co-founder of Muslim Hands – The Open Kitchen, will be awarded the Order of the British Empire.
The award was established by King George V in 1917 for people who had served in a non-combative role and contributed to arts, charitable work, sciences, and public service. The honor also includes medals which are presented to people who have served the community.
Muslim Hands is a charitable organization that was established in 1993 for collecting charity for Muslims in Bosnia that were affected by the Bosnian war. Whereas, in 2018 Choudhary launched Open Kitchen so that it can offer free meals for people in disadvantaged communities. The open kitchen has around 30 volunteers.
A recent report presented in the UK parliament highlighted the growing issue of food poverty in the country. It revealed that in 2021/22, approximately 4.7 million people, which is around 7% of the UK population, were experiencing food poverty.
Shockingly, this included 12% of children. The situation has worsened due to a significant increase in food prices, which rose by 19% between April 2022 and 2023. A previous survey conducted by the Food Foundation think tank indicated a near doubling of the number of UK children in food poverty over the past year, reaching nearly four million.
The survey also found that one in five households reported skipping meals, going hungry, or not eating for an entire day in January, which was a notable increase from 12% during the same period in 2022.