A remote First Nation in northern Manitoba will be eating better this weekend, thanks to a large shipment of meat and bread that an Islamic charity is donating to the community.
The Winnipeg-based Zubaidah Tallab Foundation is sending about 200 kilograms of beef, lamb and sheep meat, along with sacks of bread, by plane to Shamattawa, Man., on Thursday morning.
Hussain Guisti, who heads up the foundation, said Muslims butcher an animal at this time every year and give part of it to charity.
Guisti said the foundation decided to send this year's donation to Shamattawa, a First Nations community of about 1,100 located just south of Hudson Bay, in the hopes of making an impact there.
"Shamattawa is probably the most poverty-stricken, downtrodden reserve or area in all of Canada," he told CBC News on Wednesday, as the food shipment was being packed.
Donations welcomed, says chief
Shamattawa Chief Jeffrey Napaokesik said the donations will be welcomed by many families in the community, where he said poverty runs rampant and many people struggle to put food on their tables.
"They have nothing else to rely on but social assistance on a monthly basis, and any help from any charity is quite a bonus for them," he said.
Guisti said the Zubaidah Tallab Foundation wants to make Thursday's donation the first of many to Shamattawa.
"Muslims are caring, generous people, and part of our upbringing is to help out," he said.Last year, the same foundation raised money to build a mosque in Winnipeg, then ship it 4,000 kilometres to the Arctic town of Inuvik, N.W.T., where local Muslims needed a proper place to pray.