A woman donated £500 to a soup kitchen in memory of her late husband after he died before they could use it.  

The Soup Kitchen, set up by Councillor Tauseef Anwar and sponsored by Muslim Hands, runs outside the Lewisham Islamic Centre every day.

It helps provide thousands of hot meals to local people. 

The woman told volunteers that the money was meant to be for a long weekend away for the couple but that her husband had died recently.

She said: “I live close by and see people queuing up every day for food, so I think my husband will surely be happy for it to go to this.” 

Cllr Anwar said the huge increase in demand for food banks in the wake of the pandemic inspired him to launch the project.  

He said: “Since the start of pandemic, sadly the use of food banks in Lewisham has increased by 300 per cent, and many people are using food banks for the first time in their life.  

“This inspired me to serve the community in this area. I therefore launched this daily hot meal distribution project outside of Lewisham Mosque with the help of the national charity Muslim Hands, my family and friends.  

“Community spirit and cooperation has been amazing throughout. 

“Now with the help of the community, volunteers and donations, we are also exploring options of extending this as a weekly soup kitchen, beyond the March 7.  

“It brought tears to my eyes when a woman came in and donated £500 in memory of her late husband, I was simply speechless with her kindness, generosity and gesture.” 

Since January, hot meals have been provided daily from outside the Lewisham Islamic Centre.  

The project originally aimed to offer more than 3,000 meals until mid-February and deliver meals to local families who were struggling.  

But due to an overwhelming demand the decision was made to extend the project until March 7, when lockdown restrictions begin to ease.  

Since its launch more than 4,500 meals have been provided to people who are struggling.  

Mayor of Lewisham, Damien Egan, who has also volunteered for the project, said: “I’ve seen first-hand the incredible work the volunteers at the Soup Kitchen are doing every day.  

“It’s a brilliant project and is making a huge difference in the community, providing local residents in need with a hot meal.  

“It was a pleasure to volunteer last weekend alongside the team.”