Leeds restaurant Mumtaz continues free meals for children as it says cost of living crisis 'getting worse'

A Leeds Indian restaurant is continuing to offer free meals to children as it says the cost of living crisis is “getting worse”.
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This August and September, Mumtaz is giving away free meals to youngsters under the age of 16 every Wednesday between 4pm and 6pm.

It’s hoped the initiative will help families save money to buy school uniforms.

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Asad Arif, the restaurant’s customer and business relations manager, said: “There’s a quote that I’ve read recently, ‘people are choosing between heating and eating’.

Mumtaz is serving free food to children under 16 every Wednesday in August and September (Photo: Simon Hulme)Mumtaz is serving free food to children under 16 every Wednesday in August and September (Photo: Simon Hulme)
Mumtaz is serving free food to children under 16 every Wednesday in August and September (Photo: Simon Hulme)

“There was a problem before and it hasn’t been fixed. In fact, it’s gotten worse. So, we will continue to do our bit. If everyone had the same mentality, we could create great change.”

This is the fourth week Mumtaz is running their ‘Kids Eat Free’ initiative and Asad claims they are seeing more people each week.

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On the first Wednesday, there were 100 customers. This grew to 150 by the second week.

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Last week, Mumtaz extended their ‘Kids Eat Free’ hours to 7pm to ensure everyone ate.

Asad added: “The people are opening up about their struggles to us and other customers. They’re asking about support finding accommodation and funding uniforms among themselves.

“We have all been there - where we feel like we are all alone. We hope we can make people understand there are places where they can go for help.”

Taking a pound per table every week, Mumtaz is also able to feed people who are struggling abroad.

“Through this, we have fed five hundred people each week, for the past five years,” Asad added.

He said Mumtaz will continue to “do what we can, while we can”.

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