By Sarah Waqar
Michigan Muslim Community Council (MMCC) organized four volunteer days that were part of the Ramadan Fight Against Hunger campaign. The campaign was led by MMCC and partner non-profit organizations , and its purpose was to bring Muslims from various parts of Michigan together to help many of Michiganâ€™s unfortanate families that are facing hunger. Muslims are especially aware of the hunger issue during Ramadan, and many people have participated in fighting hunger. During Ramadan, dozens of volunteers have come to places like Gleaners and Forgotten Harvest to pack and sort food, which is then delivered to local food pantries. Students and families from Cantonâ€™s MCWS, Warrenâ€™s IONA, Dearbornâ€™s ICA, Farmington Hillsâ€™ Tawheed Center, IAGD of Rochester Hills, and Bloomfield Hillsâ€™ Unity Center all participated throughout the month by sending volunteers and collecting their food items for donation. The food drive, organized by Hassan Ahmad, a senior at Canton High School, netted over 4500 ponds of food last year alone. The simple act of helping brought together so many involved, energetic Muslims, young and old, from different communities around southeast Michigan to reach a goal- goal to stop hunger and to more importantly fill stomachs. Youth groups from different mosques, the Canton Girl Scout Troop and those working with MMCC including MMCCâ€™ s Executive Director, Dawood Zwink whom came out and worked alongside the volunteers.
Wayne State University student and Youth Advisor Iffa Kazi also showed her support by lending a hand. â€œVolunteering during Ramadan was an excellent sisterhood activity, for it allowed us to spend time with one another while giving back to the community that has helped make us who we are! Being able to volunteer with different organizations like Forgotten Harvest and Gleaners this Ramadan has been a really humbling experience. â€
Volunteering while fasting was an eye-opening experience for many first timers. Ms. Kazi said, â€œWe arrived at the volunteer sites having eaten just a few hours before. As we packed food, conversations like, â€œI canâ€™t wait till 9:07 to stuff my face,â€ or â€œMan Iâ€™m so hungry!â€ were taking place. In that moment we realized that in just a few short hours our hunger would end with an endless supply of delicious food, but others could still be facing that hungers for days at a time. The realization spread through us that it was our duty as humans to give our time to help those who need it.â€
Another large effort of food packing occured at the Tawhid Center in Farmingtion, where almost a hundred people throughout the day packed 6 large trucks with food in boxes. These trrucks distributed the food packages directly to mosques and fanilies throughout southeast Michigan. Over 5,000 pounds of food was delivered for families to enjoy in Ramadan. In the Ramdan spirit groups of volunteers worked with Zaman International to pack Ramadan Gift Packages for Muslim children in foster care. These packages contained books, toys, prayer rugs and cookies.
According to Amina Iqbal, the outreach coordinator for MMCC, â€œThe Ramadan Fight Against Huger is about harnessing the charitable spirit of the community and chanelling it to benefit as many of our fellow Americans as possibleâ€