By Noor H. Salem
The second Sunday afternoon of Ramadan, over 100 volunteers of all ages from the Islamic Center of Detroit gathered in the center and made a difference. Thanks to one community member, Suemaya Ghaleb, together the volunteers were able to pack 10,000 meals for hungry children within two hours. Suemaya thought that Ramadan would be the perfect opportunity to allow the young youth to not only help those in needs, but to also reflect and realize the blessings they have are infinite.
Kids Against Hunger is an organization that has been running for over 30 years. They go around to different communities and have volunteers pack meals for hungry children across the globe. The meal consists of dry rice, a vegetable protein, and formula of essential minerals and vitamins. There were twelve volunteers in each of the ten assembly lines, each doing a designated task. While one measured the rice cup, another added the vegetables and a third held the package under the funnel. Two other volunteers weighed every bag and took out the extra portion. Additional volunteers sealed the packages while others at the end counted and placed them in larger boxes to go.
The organizer from Kids Against Hunger talked halfway through the packaging about the organization. He gave sad statistics for all to reflect upon, including how 15,4000 children die daily from starvation, and how one in five children go to bed hungry every night. He had everyone raise their fingers and wiggle them, and reminded them how they have a blessing. He then thanked them for using this blessing well by packaging these meals for the deprived.
Packaging the 10,000 meals took less than two hours, a little more than 100 volunteers, and just 2,800 dollars. The ICD Youth were able to raise approximately that much money, and are still collecting donations. The youth took about 3,000 of those food packages to deliver them personally to poor Muslim and Non-Muslim families in the community.
Each dry meal is simply made by adding a certain amount of water and cooked beyond boiling point. Each package can feed approximately six people and is full of vitamins, carbohydrates to keep them full, and essential added minerals. There were adults, youth, and even a five year old volunteer all working hard to make a difference. It was a wonderful opportunity to contribute to those in need, and a blessed month to host a remarkable volunteering event.