Hot Meals and Hearts

Chicago and NYC feeding programs blast off

Ready, set, go

We may never know what a “post-covid” world looks like or how the affects this mass interruption of what the world called normal. In the face of all of these new developments of how we live life some sobering facts remain. Hunger in the U.S. is still one of the most daunting challenges we face as a country. According to feeding America, In 2019, 34 million people lived in poverty in America. For a family of four, that means earning just $25,000 per year and before the coronavirus pandemic, more than 35 million people faced hunger in the United States, including more than 10 million children.

Accelerated problems deserve accelerated answers and IRUSA thanks our partners for the official launch of our hot meals programs beginning in Chicago and New York. Our Chicago hot meals program began in February with the expectation that a few hundred people could be served a week. It is with great pleasure that we say it has grown to serve 700 hot meals for community members. On Mondays and on Jumuah at JJ Fish and Holy Buckets restaurants lines can be seen starting before service time. So far it has been well received by participants and volunteers alike.

Making impact important

Both restaurants have gone above the call of duty by now providing food staples and fresh vegetables. In New York, another dynamic program has been brewing since Ramadan. In conjunction with Tajeen restaurant, over 1200 meals are prepared and served weekly. Right in the heart of Harlem lines wrap around the corner. The need is everpresent. U.S. Programs Coordinator Kesha Abdul-Mateen spoke clearly, “It’s about helping people not make the hard decision of where their money goes during a crisis. When you can provide for your family without choosing between food or another necessity it alleviates the pain. COVID has exacerbated the wealth gap in certain communities across the united states.” IRUSA is actively assessing the successes of the hot meals programs and is welcoming volunteers who seek to participate and encouraging donors to help accelerate its impact.

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