Non-Muslim employees at a Yorkshire law firm are taking part in a one-day fast marking the end of Ramadan and helping tackle the issue of food poverty.
Spearheaded by partner and head of employment law Yunus Lunat, staff from all 15 Yorkshire branches of Ison Harrison are being encouraged to take part in a fast timed to coincide with the end of the month-long holy festival of Ramadan. Yunus is actually encouraging all workplaces nationally to participate in the hope of making this a national initiative.
The Ison Harrison Empathy fast will take place on Tuesday 11 May, which could be the last of Ramadan, in support of FareShare, the UK's national network of charitable food redistributors, made up of 18 independent organisations.
Ison Harrison employees who take part are also being encouraged to donate the money they would have spent on Tuesday’s lunch to FareShare in a bid to raise a minimum target amount of £1000.
FareShare diverts surplus food, which would otherwise go to waste, onto people at risk of hunger via a network of frontline charities and community groups nationwide.
FareShare provides food to 11,000 charities and community groups across the UK – including school breakfast clubs, community centres, homeless shelters and food banks. Two-thirds of people accessing FareShare food are children and families. The equivalent of two million meals a week is provided for people who might not otherwise eat.
Yunus Lunat commented: “The idea for a firm-wide one day fast originated from many staff saying they were intrigued to find out more about Ramadan and what it means to their Muslim colleagues, so we decided to create a national day of Empathy Fast.
“The concept of fasting for a day seemed like a good way for non-Muslim employees to get involved whilst raising money for a great cause. Ramadan is also known as the month of selflessness and charity, with more than £100million estimated to be donated to charity by British Muslims during the month. Every donation received can make a massive difference with just £5 which would easily amount to a standard workday lunch helping to deliver enough food for 20 meals.”
Support from the UK and devolved governments and many of the UK’s major food retailers has helped FareShare to more than double food provision and distribute food equivalent of 128.5 million meals to vulnerable children, families and individuals in the past year - the equivalent to four meals every second.
Ison Harrison has always played an active role in and is a big supporter of the communities in which it is based. In January this year, it launched its year-long Yorkshire Law Firm Challenge which encourages staff to clock up walking, running and cycling miles in support of five chosen causes. In 2018, the firm celebrated 40 years of business in Yorkshire by supporting 40 local good causes raising over £10,000.