The past few months have been a nightmare, as travel bans, global health concerns, and business shutdowns have impacted the American community.
The initiative is led by ICNA Relief and Jamaat Ibad Ar Rahman Mosque to help feed neighbors in need.
Currently, the mosque serves around 200 people on a weekly basis. After cooperating with ICNA, it will be able to serve more.
“In talking to the mosque and seeing the need in this area,” Niveen Allan with ICNA Relief said.
“We felt like we’re in the heart of Durham where there’s a lot of need of low income families. We felt like it was much needed.”
The new food pantry will open next Saturday, August 22. It will be open once a month, but organizers hope they will open more often depending on donations.
“The food pantry is not just for Muslims, it’s for the entire community of Durham,” Ahmadu Lee with the mosque said.
ICNA is one of the largest, non-profit, grassroots Muslim organizations in North America with many projects, programs, and activities designed to help in reforming society at large.
Over the past weeks, ICNA Relief has been providing food, hygiene items, and financial assistance. Services include a transitional home for homeless women and children, refugee assistance, back to school giveaways, health screenings, family services, hunger prevention, and more.
ICNA says its volunteers distribute more than five times the amount of food compared to the same period last year.
The last few months the organization has served over 27,000 individuals, according to a press release.
The ICNA Relief Food Pantry request has nearly tripled due to layoffs or other unfortunate circumstances pertaining to the pandemic.
During the time, ICNA was able to provide over 316,000 pounds in food and groceries, collectively distributed close to 18,600 hot meals and non-perishable food boxes, 1,106 hygiene kits to those in need, and took over 548 Tele-Medicine for COVID-19.