One Million Meals
1631. Bilal Bin Saqib
1632. Momin Saqib
Bilal Bin Saqib and Momin Saqib, from London, are brothers who alongside co-founders Raja Suleman Raza and Muhammad Arif Anis launched the 'One Million Meals' campaign during lockdown in 2020, which has seen over 100,000 meals sent to NHS and key workers, the homeless, and people in need.
The campaign has received support from sporting stars such as former footballer David Beckham and boxer Amir Khan, has inspired hundreds of volunteers to help with communications and deliveries, and local companies who have donated food and healthy drinks. Operating in more than 200 locations through 47 hospitals, trusts and food banks, the initiative aims to continue providing nutritious meals whilst the nation recovers from COVID-19.
In a personal letter to the ‘One Million Meals’ co-founders, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“As we mark Eid al-Fitr, let me thank you for all that you have done in the spirit of community to feed thousands of key workers and vulnerable people through your ‘One Million Meals’ campaign.
“Your partnership with local restaurants is an inspired way to support businesses while getting top quality hot meals to people who really need them.
“You have been Points of Light for so many people throughout our national battle with Coronavirus, and so I am delighted to be recognising your work in this way.
“I wish you every success as you continue towards your goal of one million meals, and Eid Mubarak!”
Bilal and Momin are also co-founders of ‘Tayaba’, a charity which provides clean water solutions for vulnerable communities in Pakistan. Set up in 2016, the charity has pioneered the use of “H2O wheels”, specially-designed plastic water-carrying devices which can be easily rolled along the ground and can hygienically store more than 40 litres of water, which is eight to ten times more than can be held by a traditional water pot. Over 6,500 H2O wheels have been distributed to areas that have been struck by water-scarcity issues, giving support to more than 40,000 families.
Bilal said: “I am extremely humbled to have received this recognition from the honourable Prime Minister himself. Our ongoing work for communities has been with the pure intent of improving lives as much as we possibly can. Providing ease in water accessibility to the water-deprived communities has always been a cause that’s close to my heart.”
Momin said: “Not just is this a huge honour, but it’s extremely encouraging to be a recipient of the Points of Light Award by the respected Prime Minister. I believe serving society has to be at the core of our being. We as global citizens must work towards making this world a better place in whatever capacity we can!”
Raja Suleman Raza, who is also chief executive of a restaurant chain that initiated the donations to the ‘One Million Meals’ campaign, said: ”It is an absolute honour for me to be recognised for the Points of Light Award by the Prime Minister for our efforts during this pandemic. This award means a lot to me, I intend to continue serving the vulnerable communities around us who are further exposed to larger risk due to this pandemic and require our support more than ever before.”
Muhammad Arif Anis, an author and expert on leadership, said: “It is a humbling moment to be recognised by the Prime Minister. The real honour has been to serve in the moment of trial. The One Million Meals campaign was a community response to a humanitarian crisis above any divisions in society. it was a British response above the lines of race, ethnicity and religion, exhibiting a British spirit, that is needed now, more than ever.”