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Launching Food Drive for Needy, Canadian Muslims Combine Giving with Fasting

Launching Food Drive for Needy, Canadian Muslims Combine Giving with Fasting
Muslim Food Bank volunteers distribute food hampers out of their Surrey warehouse twice a month (Cliff Shim/CBC)

A Muslim food bank in Surrey, British Columbia, has launched a virtual food drive in hopes of raising funds to provide for needy during Ramadan.

“This month we seek the connection to God and it’s a good feeling that we have this opportunity to do good and make a difference in people’s lives,” Azim Dahya, director of the Muslim Food Bank, told CBC.

“It feels like all our souls are connected.”

The Muslim Food Bank started 10 years ago as informal food distribution from a garage in Surrey, British Columbia.

Now, it has grown to a 3,500-square foot warehouse serving more than 400 families in the Lower Mainland.

Mehmoona Ali volunteers with the Muslim Food Bank and says giving back is an important part of the Islamic faith. (Cliff Shim/CBC)

The non-profit organization gathers essential food items like rice, oil, and flour for those with low income and distributes food hampers twice a month out of the Surrey warehouse.

“In our faith, it’s very important to us to help the less fortunate and always remember you could be on the other side. And in our faith we say you’re not a good Muslim if your brother goes to bed hungry and you’ve eaten,” says Mehmoona Ali, a volunteer at the Muslim Food Bank.

While the majority of donations come from fundraising efforts and local businesses, the organization attempts during Ramadan to give extra items to families so they can sustain themselves during the long fasts and also prepare for `Eid Al-Fitr.

Bahaa Albasha, 16, came to Canada as a Syrian refugee two years ago and now volunteers at the Muslim Food Bank in Surrey. (Cliff Shim/CBC)

This month they kicked off a virtual food drive in which people are able to sponsor a family by donating a sum between $35 and $75 to help with food for the month.

On May 25th, the food bank will open its doors for a food drive where non-perishable items can be donated along with money to help fill the need. That drive will run from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm at 104-12941 115 Avenue, Surrey.

“I get much more out of being a volunteer, it’s very humbling,” says Ali.

In Ramadan, adult Muslims, save the sick and those traveling, abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset.

Generosity and charity are generally blessed in Islamic Shari’ah, however, it’s specially blessed during the month of Ramadan. Multiplies rewards, for one thing, Ramadan is a blessed month where the rewards for all of our good deeds are multiplied.

Beyond that, there is the fact that our generosity at this time helps those who are fasting and engaging in extra worship during this special month.


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