London Masons are providing 800 free hot meals a week and have now extended the funding for the next three months. The meals are provided for those residents in need in Ealing and Acton identified by the Council, local youth centre, women’s refuge and the Ealing Mutual Aid Group. The London Freemasons Charity and Masonic Charitable Foundation Covid-19 fund are providing £25,000 towards the initiative with the whole operation being conducted from the West London Masonic Centre under the expert eye of Chef Dan Lee, with a team of volunteers from the Lodges that normally meet there assisting with the preparation and delivery of those meals. The meals are being distributed to those in need in partnership with Covid 19 Mutual Aid Ealing, Covid 19 Mutual Aid Southall and Ealing Homeless Refuge.
In addition, the Centre is storing toys and soft drinks, which have been donated by the community, on behalf of Ealing Council, where they are sorted, packaged up and distributed to local families in need.
One recipient of a meal, Mrs. Elizabeth Casson, who lives in Hanwell W7 commented: “It is very good. We are now in the 10th week of the lockdown and in all that time I have only been able to walk around the block. I cannot get to shops myself and I have found it almost impossible to order any groceries online. In fact I have only had one small supermarket grocery delivery in 10 weeks. For the first couple of weeks, I had supplies in the house, and some neighbours helped by getting some items from the shops, but receiving this food really does help to supplement what I can get via my neighbours. Thank you very much to everyone involved for all your assistance”.
Bob Hancock, Chairman of West London Masonic Centre: “Speaking on behalf of all Freemasons meeting at the centre we are proud and honoured to be able to interact with all the terrific community work that is taking place in Ealing Borough to support poor and vulnerable families and those living alone. It continues to be a wonderful experience to see so many people coming together for the common good.”
Additionally Local MP for Ealing Central and Acton, Dr Rupa Huq MP, visited the West London Masonic Center to see the team of volunteers in action. She returned with her son, who was inspired to donate a number of his toys to local families in need.
Sir Michael Snyder, Metropolitan Grand Master and head of London Freemasons: “This is a hugely important project, providing hot meals to some of the most vulnerable people in our community. I’m proud that Freemasons are able to give such practical help during this difficult time. I’m also really grateful to Ruqa Haq MP for taking the time to visit the West London Masonic Centre and offer her support for our initiative to help local people in need.”
“I congratulate everyone involved in this magnificent enterprise and trust that this grant will provide some stability and longevity to your operation. The wider effort encompassing the storage of toys and soft drinks, youth centre, women’s refuge and the Ealing Mutual Aid Group is a fine example of what freemasonry in the community is all about.