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09 April 2020

The brothers providing one million meals for frontline workers

One Million Meals provides healthy meals to key workers daily

Five medics in face masks stand with food parcels on a ward.
Medical staff enjoy their meals, provided by One Million Meals

Momin Saqib, a King’s alumnus, former KCLSU President and current King's staff member is one of the founders of One Million Meals – a charitable initiative which provides healthy meals to key workers including doctors, nurses, police officers and other staff who are playing a vital role in the fight against COVID. The initiative was up and running within 48 hours and now teams across King’s, and individuals from Momin's other networks, are coming together to support his vision.

When Momin’s flight from Pakistan to the UK was cancelled due to COVID, that didn’t stop him finding a way to help NHS workers fighting the Coronavirus back in London. Having heard first-hand from friends in the NHS that after gruelling and long shifts saving lives from the pandemic they were often left missing meals and hungry, Momin felt he had to do something.

Within two days Momin brought together a network of like-minded people, many of whom he met during his time as KCLSU President, using phone calls, emails and online meetings. Together with his brother Bilal Bin Saqib, an LSE alumnus based in London, Suleman Raza, an award-winning chef and Chief Executive of Spice Village Group, and Arif Anis, corporate thought leader and author of I'MPOSSIBLE, ‘One Million Meals’ was born.

The initiative aims to provide free daily nutritious meals to frontline NHS staff and key workers currently fighting COVID. The all-volunteer team identifies demand from essential workplaces and then arranges deliveries from participating restaurants. Despite being in different time-zones, the team were each able to provide vital industrial knowledge, with Arif leading on the vision and strategy and Suleman advising on the food delivery mechanism to the hospitals.

Our key-workers are putting their lives on the line to protect us, but they can’t do this if they have not been fed and provided with energy – a nutritious meal is the least we can do to help them through their day and to thank them for their services. The skills and global problem-solving mindset I developed during my time as both a student and staff member at King’s, enabled me to turn this idea into a reality

Momin Saqib, One Million Meals Co-Founder and Tech Specialist

In less than a week, One Million Meals has already provided 4,500 meals to key workers in 33 hospitals and institutions including staff at St Thomas' hospital, Croydon Metropolitan Police, Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford, Croydon University Hospital, Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich as well as food banks in Southend-On-Sea.

The demand for their service has been overwhelming. Now the team want to be able to help more key workers and are calling for volunteers and public donations to help support their mission.

So far, One Million Meals has been relying on our team’s resources and the amazing generosity of our sponsors to provide meals to key workers and frontline staff. However, to meet our increasing demand, we are reaching out to the public to help us bring food to the people keeping them safe and healthy

Bilal Bin Saqib, One Million Meals Growth Hacker

King’s was founded in 1829 on the ambition to serve society. This ambition is more important than ever. King’s will work with Momin and his team to help strengthen One Million Meals over the coming weeks.