Beef donation to Fredericton food bank marks start of Islamic holiday
Pakistani-Canadian association says donation of halal meat is a gesture of 'love and care'
The Pakistani-Canadian Association of New Brunswick is celebrating the start of the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha with a much-appreciated donation of beef to the Fredericton food bank.
"It's a very special thing to do," said food bank executive director Alex Boyd. "It's quite special because it's donated as halal meat which means it's meat that's appropriate for our Muslim clients."
Eid al-Adha, also known as the Feast of the Sacrifice, is the second of two Islamic holidays celebrated worldwide each year. The other is Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan.
Kanza Hashma, a member of the association, said the donation will help many families in need.
"I think it's a food of love and care from our community to the community we live in," she said.
Hashmat and other association members got the idea for the beef donation about two years ago when they heard about a young boy stealing meat at the grocery store because he was hungry.
Hashmat said that was when they decided they could do something to help the community.
Hashmat said donating the beef to the food bank is the best way to ensure the meat is distributed to families that need it most.
A committee within the association looks after the cost of the beef and having it butchered in keeping with the requirements for halal meat.
Boyd said the donation is honoured each year with a special event.
Part of the association's mission is to promote love, care, compassion, understanding and integration for newcomers.
"It means we are able to provide a good quality protein to our Muslim clients who wouldn't eat meat that isn't halal."
But Boyd added that the donation is distributed to all clients of the food bank.
"It's about community, it's about being a part of the group that's supporting Greener Village," he said.
Hashmat said the donation will help 65 families, or if broken down, 309 people.
With files from Information Morning Fredericton