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In the New Year period at the start of 2024, g320 member Shian Housing Association
partnered with BME London Landlords and the Felix Project to provide fresh food to around
30 households in need. As an independent, BME-led organisation, with most of its nearly 500 homes situated in Hackney, Haringey and Islington, Shian is committed to providing decent housing and responsive services, while remaining tuned in to the cultural sensitivities of the people it

However, food insecurity is still very real for too many of Shian’s residents. Staff routinely
signpost people to the many food banks in its areas of operation. So, when BME London
Landlords partnered with the Felix Project to offer food to its members, Shian warmly
welcomed the approach.

Like other similar landlords, cost-of-living support has featured high on Shian’s list of
priorities over the past several years. Shian staff have assisted residents to access tens of
thousands of pounds worth of grants, council crisis funding and discretionary housing
payments, as well as signposting them for specialist budgeting and debt support.
Shian operates its own welfare fund, providing one-off grants of up to £200 to tenants who
are unable to afford some basic essentials, for whatever reason(s).

The Felix Project is a London-based organisation that rescues good quality surplus food
from hundreds of supermarkets, wholesalers, farms, restaurants and other suppliers. Using
a network of volunteers, they deliver this surplus food to charities, community groups,
housing associations and schools – providing more than 30 million meals to Londoners in
need every year.

Shian’s Director of Operations, Minara Sultana, said: “We invited all our households to come
to our office in Hackney to collect the free food parcels. 30 took advantage of this offer. At
first, some told us they thought this was a spam message. But they were all pleasantly
surprised by the fresh fruit, vegetables, milk, yoghurt and freshly cooked food on offer. The
packs also included olive oil, biscuits, drinks and some canned foods.
“We were particularly pleased to be able to host this scheme, because residents told us they
felt far more comfortable collecting food parcels from our office, rather than a local food bank
– due to the social stigma.”

Managing Director, Leslie Laniyan, said: “One of our core values is that we are non-
judgemental. We understand hardship and what it takes to overcome challenges.
“As a small, BME-led organisation, we know our residents, we know our communities, and
we treat everyone with the dignity they deserve.”