HOW WE ENDED...
- Team Hiba want to say thank you to everyone who has supported us over the last four weeks of crowdfunding, where we got to work with you, to feed the amazing NHS frontline staff while they look after and save our loved ones. Your contributions raised £2820.00 - which is a total of 1128 meals! There are still a few hours left though!Hiba team have now distributed 2922 meals across hospitals in London to University College Hospital London, Great Ormond Street Hospital, National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery, The MacMillan Cancer Centre, Royal Free Hospital, Whipps Cross Hospital, The Royal London Hospital the Nightingale Hospital,Watford General Hospital, Goodmayes Hospital in Ilford and St Thomas Hospital. We met so many amazing and inspirational people and will continue to support the NHS frontline staff during the lockdown with delicious chicken maqlooba - please email us on email@example.com to request moving forward.
We are still open for normal orders and working with charities to cook for Iftar during the last two weeks of the month of Ramadan.We are also looking at how we will serve our customers in the future with the gradual lifting of the lockdown - it will take time to get back to 'normal' but we will be here!
In the meantime, we leave you with a short thank you Palestinan style - from team Hiba, family and friends who were brave enough to send us their dabke debuts!
Many thanks and much love
8th May 2020
- APRIL 2020 - AND ACTION
- In Palestine, curfews and sieges mean that there is often isolation and self isolation, personal loss and financial loss. We share whatever we have with family and friends. I grew up under sieges and economic adversity but never thought I would face the same in London!
HOW IT STARTED...
In the first week of March we set up the Hiba COVID-19 Crisis Committee, to take over the business temporarily, and our staff volunteered to work through hard times – financial and moral. I am proud of them. They are a delightful mix of people from the Arab world, Palestine, Iraq, Tunisia to name a few.
As a dine-in, takeaway, delivery, catering, street food business we have always implemented the highest standards within the business. Adapting to the COVID-19 Government regulations to operate with new physical distancing measures by reducing the staff on site at any one time to 20%, eliminating dine in as an option simply by putting the chairs on table etc. was not a difficult challenge.
However, closing was not an option for us. Hiba employs almost 50 people on our London sites, many with families to feed and supports refugees in Syria and Lebanon as well as in Palestine with medical aid, legal help and financial support. So we widened our circle and looked to the community around us.
WHAT WE STARTED TO DO...
We started with a simple gesture – 50% off for the NHS, TFL and Met police as these were the people who were out in the streets keeping London alive, moving and safe. As the coffee shops closed around us, we got disposable cups and started selling coffee – on the first day we sold 12 coffees! We gave wraps and coffee to those who were homeless outside our doors but also donated directly to established homeless efforts as well as other amazing projects who invited us to contribute that have sprung up in response to the COVID-19 crisis, helping the NHS and the vulnerable.
WHAT MADE US MOVE TO FEEDING THE NHS FRONTLINE...
GOSH admin called us on the 24th March asking if they could add us to their list of suppliers and we said yes. One of the coordinators at NHNN called to ask if they could purchase hot food for the doctors after calling 44 places and only three were able to. We said of course. We received a message on Facebook from Lucy, a nurse on ICU at UCLH, asking for a food donation to the nurses. We said definitely! It was when we delivered the food and said thank you to the frontline staff who came to collect the food that we began to understand the enormity of their daily situation.
To date we have prepared just over 1000 portions of our famous chicken maqlooba for UCLH, NHNN and Whipps Cross Hospital NHS front line staff, cleaners and ambulance drivers. When we explained that Maqlooba literally meant ‘Upside Down’ and that we were giving this to reflect the upside-down nature of life right now it did make them laugh. We will never forget their spirit and how they actually made us feel that we will come out of this stronger and better.
My team and I are really happy that we are doing something worthwhile during this surreal period. We take our reward by our contribution to our community and using our experiences of hardships from places such as Gaza to help us think forward and plan constructively.
We are currently looking to set up a crowdfunding campaign so that we can feed more frontline staff – for every £2.50 we will provide a delicious hot meal. Our chefs say they can do 1000 meals a day - so let's do it!
Two Weeks Into Crowdfunding...
Hiba team have now distributed 2102 meals across hospitals in London. Each meal costs only £2.50 for us to make and deliver. We NEED your help to keep feeding our NHS for the price of a flat white coffee.
We have delivered to University College Hospital London, Great Ormond Street Hospital, National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery, The MacMillan Cancer Centre, Royal Free Hospital, Whipps Cross Hospital, The Royal London Hospital the Nightingale Hospital,Watford General Hospital and Goodmayes Hospital in Ilford! We have been asked to deliver to additional hospitals which have received no food donations to date as they are not centrally located.
It has been wonderful to get to know some of the amazing people who are out there working round the clock to look after and save us. They are more than just people in blue - they are parents and writers and cooks and dancers as well! We were allowed to attend the Whipps Cross nurses' Tik Tok challenge and it takes a brave man like Osama to accept!