The above photo is from the ISB / ISNA Stop Hunger Now event. The ISB gym was like an efficient assembly line for a little over two hours, producing 20,000 meals for hungry people throughout the world. Photo by Muslim Link.
F or over 130 volunteers at the Islamic Soceity of Baltimore, it was easy to see that each scoop, each fold, and each wrap would make a difference and help them reach their goal.
Their goal was not merely to reach a target of packing twenty thousand -- yes, thousand -- it was something far greater than that.
Allah describes their reasons in the Qur'an in Surah Insan: "We feed you only for the countenance of Allah. We wish not from you reward or gratitude"
So, when Al-Rahmah Sunday School manager Sister Nasrin Rahman attended the Islamic Society of North America's annual convention last September and was among hundreds of volunteers working to pack 50,000 meals for the hungry in only two hours, she wanted her students and community to not be left behnd in terms of seeking Allah's pleasure.
"I felt it was amazing how the whole thing was done and what a wonderful way to get families involved for a great cause," Sister Nasrin told the Muslim Link. "I could not stop but thinking what a excellent project it could be for our kids in Sunday School ... these are crucial times in the lives of [these kids] and we better find things valuable for them so as adults they take responsibility to serve humanity," she said. The Golden Age Committee was also invited to join us."
Sister Nasrin contacted ISNA's Mohammad Elsanousi who worked with the non-profit Stop Hunger Now to organize the 50,000 meal packing event at the ISNA convention.
"This was our 50 year anniversary, so we wanted to mark it in a special way that serves humanity," explained Sanusi, who also attended the ISB meal packing event with his family.
Stop Hunger Now distributes free, nutrition filled meals to over 40 countries around the world. Using their huge purchasing power, they produce instant meal packs of rice, vegetables, beans, and spices for 25 cents per meal. They partner with volunteer groups to provide manpower and space to package the meals from dry ingredients in sealed plastic. Stop Hunger Now brings all needed packing supplies and the food items, paid for by charitbale donations.
For the December 1, 2013 event, ISB and ISNA split the cost of the food.
ISB volunteers from every segment of the community -- young and old, men and women, children and teenagers -- used 42 bags of rice (2,100 lbs), 21 bags of soy (1,050 lbs) and 120 lbs of dehydrated vegetables and 20, 000 vitamin packages to prepare 20,000 meals, according to Sister Nasrin.
The above photo is also from the ISB / ISNA Stop Hunger Now event. Young volunteers eagerly helping out. Photo by Muslim Link.
ISB council members also volunteered.
"I was quite pleased by the turnout and even more impressed how organized the event was. Packaging 20k meals in 2 1/2 hours can only be done with the help of Allah, enthusiastic volunteers and great attention to details. As a council we are exploring the possibility of continuing this partnership with "Stop the Hunger" and making it an annual event. In addition we are also looking at other local opportunities to help better serve our surrounding communities," said Aijaz Hasan of the ISB Council.