Belfast man who provides food for vulnerable gets award from PM

Belfast man who provides food for vulnerable gets award from PM

A Belfast-based man who has provided healthy food for families in need in the city has been recognised by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Edmund Aruofor, 60, originally from London, moved with his family to Belfast in 2015.

His organisation, LifeHub NI, has been providing 4,000 people with fresh, surplus produce rescued from supermarkets since the pandemic began.

He will also be providing more than 300 Christmas dinners to vulnerable people.

He has been given a Point of Light award for outstanding volunteers.

Set up in 2017 ‘LifeHub NI’ is “a way of supporting vulnerable people in the city gain access to healthy food.”

It is volunteer-led, with Mr Aruofor driving more than 14,000 miles a year to collect surplus food from supermarkets and suppliers across Northern Ireland which otherwise would be thrown out.

He said because of the pandemic, the hub had been very busy, with volunteers distributing more than 400 food parcels a week to people who have been self-isolating.

He wakes up every morning at 04.30 GMT to deliver and collect supplies.

Writing to Mr Arufor, the prime minister said that as Christmas Day will be different this year it was “particularly special” that his team was serving up hundreds of meals to those in need.

“I know you do this with no thought of recognition but let me thank you for the extraordinary way in which you have responded to this pandemic, bringing food, Christmas gifts and some much needed joy to those you help,” he said.

“The Christmas story is one of hope and renewal and you bring that hope to the people of Belfast with the care and compassion you have shown this year,” he added.

Mr Aruofor said he was surprised, having had “no expectation of recognition”.

“But in saying that, I am grateful that you have chosen us. Thank you for the recognition for something we do, because we see it is needed”, he added.

The Points of Light award recognises “outstanding individuals making a difference where they live.”

One award is given out every weekday to mark the achievements of those who have served their communities.

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