A gym hard-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic has become a battlefield to help feed Wolverhampton families in need in the run-up to Christmas.
After calling regular gym member and city councilman Beverly Muminabadi, Foundry Gym owner Nikki Forrester joined forces with nearby Excel Church Food Bank to deliver supplies to families in the area.
Since the beginning of the pandemic lockdown, the church has provided more than 30,000 food parcels to vulnerable families across the ward – Cllr Momenabadi works daily as a volunteer.
She said, “After a training session one day I spoke to gym owner Nikki. I knew the gym had been hit as hard by the pandemic as many other businesses, but he was still determined to come forward and help all those families in need.”
“Fuel prices are going up, gas and electric bills are up too, and no one should go hungry this winter,” Nikki told the local Democracy Reporting Service.
“Our gym members donated thousands of items last year when they heard the government cut funding for free school meals during the holidays – and I know they’re going to come forward again this year.
“We are eager to help and are incredibly grateful to food banks like Excel Church who are doing so much for those who really need it.”
Nikki added when he was young that he remembers the times his family struggled, so they understand the hardships that many people still face today.
He said this played a major role in his determination to set up the gym and also collaborating with Cllr Momenabadi in helping the local community.
Cllr Momenabadi said: “I know families who have to choose between heating and sometimes eating – which is not true.
“With energy bills skyrocketing and Christmas just around the corner, I wish we didn’t live in a country where people used to rely on food banks.
“But when the government doesn’t step up, we know the good people of Wolverhampton will.
“The outpouring of kindness from people like Nikki and all the members of Foundry Jim in helping to collect and distribute food parcels shows that at Wolverhampton, we always look after our own,” she added.