A doctor working at Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) has set up a charity foodbank to help those in need.
Dr Khalid Saleem, a consultant psychiatrist at Basildon Mental Health Unit, pledged to do something to help after speaking to a mother who was struggling to feed her family.
Khalid set up a charity in his name, the Khalid Saleem Foundation, and now works with a team of volunteers to run foodbanks every other week in Romford.
The foodbanks are held outside North Romford Community Centre in Clockhouse Lane and offer food and toiletries to anyone who may be struggling to afford to feed themselves and their family.
Khalid and his volunteers use their own money to buy the supplies and are even beginning to deliver food to residents who are unable to get to the foodbank.
Khalid said: “I can honestly say I was overwhelmed and heartbroken to hear a mother tell me she had less than £5 to feed her children for the rest of the week.
“It made me realise how privileged I am and that I wanted to do something to help people in my local community who are not so well supported socially and financially.”
The foodbank isn’t the first time Khalid has stepped in to help others in their time of need.
Last year, he made a trip to Kashmir in Pakistan with some volunteers to donate money to people whose houses had been destroyed by an earthquake.
He said: “Poverty can hit any one of us at any time if our personal circumstances change beyond our control. The Khalid Saleem Foundation is about helping people when they need it most.”
The charity is always looking for volunteers to help run the foodbanks and make donations. You can find out more about the foodbanks and express an interest in volunteering by contacting Khalid via the charity’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/KhalidSaleemFoundation
Khalid Saleem (far left) with his team of volunteers.