Feeding hope: Muslims fight hunger during holy month
Wixom — As the Muslim holy month of Ramadan comes to an end Tuesday, Michigan Muslims gathered to complete their biggest food drive yet in the Ramadan Fight Against Hunger.
Nearly 200 volunteers spent their Saturday packing 50 tons of food to distribute to hungry families in Metro Detroit.
In its 23rd year, the Ramadan Fight Against Hunger provided food boxes to 1,100 families in Detroit, Highland Park, Hamtramck, Dearborn, St. Clair Shores, Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor and Flint, organizers said.
The food drive was created by General Motors Co. engineers in 1996 and expanded to include employees, families and suppliers. The Michigan Muslim Community Council sponsored the event the past five years, bringing in more volunteers and making it a community-wide effort.
The group collected the food in collaboration with the Tawheed Center-Farmington Hills and Sam’s Club during Ramadan, the Muslim holy month in which worshipers fast daily from dawn to dusk. Fasting and charity are two pillars of the Islamic faith.
"Helping provide food for families that go hungry is especially meaningful because I am fasting and can appreciate how difficult it is," said Sahar Afeef, a coordinator for Ramadan Fight Against Hunger. "It really motivates me to step up and do more in the community to fight hunger."
The food doesn't just go to Muslims fasting during the holy month, said organizer Muzammil Ahmed.
"The food is distributed to people of all faiths at different community centers, mosques and food pantries," he said. "There are over a thousand boxes of food dropped off in more than 30 locations across Metro Detroit, extending all the way to Flint and out to Jackson. Requests for the boxes were made by local mosques and food pantries."