Medjool Dates for Prisoners
Being a prisoner in Britain is not easy. But a prisoner suffers more than confinement. He or she also suffers the daily privations of the institution, which, of course, includes the limited diet afforded by prison food.
Prisons in the UK are allowed to spend just £2 per inmate a day on food - almost five times less than the budget for hospital patients. A report from HM Inspectorate of Prisons found that due to small budgets and lack of nutritional standards for meals in prison, these meals were often of very low quality.
Religious demands can restrict prison diets further. The National Management Offender Service (NOMS) states: "It is a fundamental requirement that prisoners and members of staff are provided with meals which meet an individual’s religious, cultural and medical dietary needs. It is further necessary that all prisoners are provided with food commodities that are stored, prepared and served in an appropriate way. The menu choices and meal provision must reflect the religious and cultural needs of the establishment."
Muslims represent a high proportion of UK prisoners, but for them, religion and community support can help them cope with prison life, temper aggression and encourage self-discipline around prayer, and recitation of the Qur'an.
“Friday congregation prayers are like a support factor for Muslim prisoners,” says one prisoner. Inmates get to see other prisoners, it’s a time to rejoice. For them, Jummah (Friday prayer) can be the positive light at the end of their week.”
For Muslim prisoners, observing Ramadan, the shortcomings of a prison diet, when fasting from dawn to dusk, become particularly tough – and any initiative to supplement that diet is welcome.
This is where the SKT Welfare’s Date Project steps in: to supply prisoners with a food supplement that is ready to eat, demands no preparation, and offers them a tasty and power-packed source of nutrition: medjool dates. Any extra will go towards other food items for iftar and suhoor.
We will be administering this via a chaplain based at HMP Doncaster who looks after 180 Muslim prisoners and can ensure your donations are used properly.
Medjool dates are healthy! Descibed as “nature’s power fruit,” - they are low in fat and packed with nutrition: vital vitamins and minerals, natural sugar, carbohydrates, and fibre, causing slow-release and sustained energy. They are the perfect food for Muslims fasting from sunrise to sunset – from the first meal, suhoor, until sunset, when they break their fast with iftar.
“When one of you is fasting, he should break his fast with dates,” said The Prophet (saw).
Help our imprisoned Muslim brother and sisters through Ramadan.
Give them the sweet, sustaining, and nourishing benefit of medjool dates.
SKT work with marginalised and vulnerable communities including with orphans and widows to help them build better futures. With their 100% donation policy, you can rest assured that every penny of your donation will go directly to those who need it most.
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