The Ottawa Food Bank is launching a partnership Monday with Give 30, a grassroots campaign to encourage donations to food banks during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Beginning around June 28, Muslims celebrating Ramadan will begin a month of prayer and fasting, avoiding food and water from dawn to sunset for 30 days.
Toronto-based Give 30 founder Ziyaad Mia said committing to social justice causes should also be part of Ramadan.
"People who are fasting during Ramadan are saving money because you're not having lunch or all those coffees," said Mia. "Why don't we find a way to shift all those dollars to something worthwhile?"
He is encouraging both Muslims and others to donate money to food banks.
"To understand hunger physically, and then to be empathetic to those who don't have in our community — whoever they are regardless of faith… it's really the face of Canada that's involved in this and giving to this," he said.
Ottawa Food Bank spokeswoman Samantha Ingram said for every dollar donated, the food bank is able to leverage it into $5 worth of food.
She said the charity drive comes at a good time for the food bank.
"We were thrilled because traditionally donations are a little bit lower right now," said Ingram. "People think to donate to us around Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter times but not necessarily in the middle of the summer."
Last year the charity raised $90,000 for food banks in three provinces.