New Brunswick

Beef donation to Fredericton food bank marks start of Islamic holiday

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 halal meat to the Fredericton food bank. 

Pakistani-Canadian association says donation of halal meat is a gesture of 'love and care'

A special event is held each year to honour the large donation of halal beef to the Fredericton food bank by the Pakistani-Canadian Association of New Brunswick. This picture is from a previous event. (Alex Boyd/Contributed)

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. 

Helping community

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. 

Alex Boyd, executive director at the Fredericton food bank said the halal beef donation is appreciated by Muslim clients as it provides much-needed protein. (Alex Boyd/Contributed)
"We were thinking of all the kids at the school going hungry and trying to learn something," she said.

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.

Association's mission

Part of the association's mission is to promote love, care, compassion, understanding and integration for newcomers. 

Hashmat said the donation of beef to the Fredericton food bank will help feed 65 families. (Catherine Harrop/CBC)
Boyd said the large donation of halal beef is appreciated because it is not something that gets donated often. 

"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