Laurier group delivers meals to students on campus, in community this Ramadan

The Muslim Chaplaincy of Wilfrid Laurier University is delivering free iftar meals to students on campus and in the community every day this Ramadan.

Meals delivered to students close to sunset so they can break their fast

A group of volunteers delivering meals to students at Laurier and in the community. (Submitted by Selda Sezen)

The Muslim Chaplaincy of Wilfrid Laurier University is delivering free iftar meals to students on campus and in the community almost every day this Ramadan.

Iftar is the meal observing Muslims have when they break their fast at sunset during the holy month.

The group at the university pegged "the meals on the wheels" received donations from community organizations and members to ensure students who are living away from home feel supported.

"We have this wonderful community who is supporting us to be able to reach the students this Ramadan who are experiencing this sacred month by themselves away from their families," said Selda Sezen, Muslim Chaplain and professor at the university, adding the initiative also addresses food insecurity.

A plate of rice, meat and chicken delivered to students this Ramadan. (Submitted by Selda Sezen)

The meal delivery project, which began last year, has doubled this year to serve about 80 students. The majority are on campus, but also people in the community.

There are about six committed volunteers that pick-up meals from local vendors, package and deliver them daily between 6 and 8 p.m., just before iftar time.

Student volunteer Malak El-batroukh said many of the meals are hearty, homey and resemble home-cooked dishes for many people.

Plates filled with salad to go along with iftar. (Submitted by Selda Sezen)

"For me, I feel like home-cooked meals, to be honest, provide a sense of comfort and nostalgia to the person, especially when they're away from their families. They feel as though, that home cooked meal is there, sitting with their family in that moment of they are reminded of their mother during iftar time," said El-batroukh.

Sezen said the team was initially concerned about the lockdown measures in place, however they are deemed an essential service, providing food to those who need it.

An assortment of treats including a sweet treat, spring roll, samosa and a piece of kibbeh. (Submitted by Selda Sezen)

Sezen notes the initiative is for both Muslims and non-Muslims.

The group also provides students monthly grocery cards and a free hot meal from time-to-time outside Ramadan.

According to the lunar calendar, Ramadan will continue to fall during fall and winter months, and therefore the group is looking at sustainable ways to keep the initiative going.