WUPPERTAL, Germany (Reuters) - A mosque in the western German city of Wuppertal is delivering meals to elderly Muslims unable to break the fast with their families due to lockdown as well as to non-Muslims struggling to make ends meet.
Volunteers at the mosque, run by one of Germany’s largest associations of mosques (DITIB), provide meals to anyone who places an order.
“People can’t go to the mosque so it’s really nice that they deliver it to my home,” said Nazmiye Odabasi, leaning over her window sill to pick up a sealed meal box, her hair covered with a small blue scarf.
Mustafa Temizer, a member of DITIB in Wuppertal, said the mosque had originally planned to deliver 1,000 meals a day to impoverished residents of the city who rely on food banks that were forced to close by the pandemic.
But as food banks reopened this month and Ramadan started last week, the mosque decided to deliver meals financed by donations to both Muslims breaking their daily fast at sunset and non-Muslims in need. Some 300 meals are delivered each day.
“We are not just serving members of our community but we are working with the city of Wuppertal,” said Temizer, standing near his silver car emblazoned with a sticker reading ‘Iftar delivery.’
“We added a lot of people in need to our list and we deliver to them too. They really appreciate it of course and the more people are hearing about this, the more sign up.”
Mosques, churches, synagogues and other houses of worship will be allowed to open their doors to the faithful starting on May 4 under hygiene rules that include limiting the number of people to 50.
Reporting by Erol Dogrudogan and Petra Wischgoll; Writing by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Alexandra Hudson