Manitoba

Muslim charity moved to help Shamattawa after fire destroyed only grocery store

A Muslim charity says it was moved into action after a fire destroyed the only grocery store in the northern Manitoba community of Shamattawa last week.

The Zubaidah Tallab Foundation is sending over 2000 kilograms of supplies to remote First Nation on Thursday

The Zubaidah Tallab Foundation will ship over 2000 kilograms of goods to the northern Manitoba First Nation of Shamattawa on Thursday. (Holly Caruk/CBC)

A Muslim charity says it was moved into action after a fire destroyed the only grocery store in the northern Manitoba community of Shamattawa last week.

"We are moved when we see something like this," said Hussain Guisti with the Zubaidah Tallab Foundation.

"As Muslims we have to care about those who are in need. We just have to. It's part of our religion. It's part of us," he said.

On Thursday Guisti will take over 2000 kilograms of dry goods to Perimeter Aviation where they will be flown in to the community. Volunteers with the foundation collected the goods in just under a week.
Hussain Guisti says the foundation purchased much needed goods like bread, canned beans, and cereals to be shipped to the community. (Holly Caruk/CBC)

They received donations of goods from local businesses as well as cash donations which they used to pay for more supplies. They are also paying for the cost to ship the items.

"We didn't sacrifice quality. When I picked up the things I only bought top quality material that I would use myself and that I would use for my own family," he said.

The North West Company has opened a temporary location in the community after the fire but there are still lots of goods that are needed. Guisti says even when the store is stocked many people can't afford what is on the shelves.
A Muslim charity says it was moved into action after a fire destroyed the only grocery store in the northern Manitoba First Nation of Shamattawa last week. 1:02

"What little the store has, the vast majority can't afford it," said Guisti.

Loaves of bread, canned beans, bags of potatoes, flour, four pallets of diapers, as well as personal hygiene items like soap, deodorant and toothbrushes will be distributed to people who need them.

Guisti says the foundation has shipped goods to northern communities in Manitoba and Ontario in the past, but this will be their largest shipment yet.

"There are those who can donate money but don't have the time to put in the volunteer effort and there are those who can volunteer and don't have the money. You put them all together and you can do something like this."