'We really haven't been able to supply halal product': Food bank looking to better support newcomers
Upper Room general manager says some clients require food more common in their cultures
The Charlottetown food bank is looking for more halal and whole food donations for clients who are immigrants.
Mike MacDonald, general manager of the Upper Room, says last year more than 500 people — or seven per cent — of people using their services were newcomers, many of them from Muslim cultures.
They're not as interested in canned soups and vegetables, he said. They're looking for fresh produce and halal food that adheres to Islamic principles.
Unfortunately, we really haven't been able to supply halal product.- Mike MacDonald
"Unfortunately, we really haven't been able to supply halal product," MacDonald said. "It's certainly something that we're looking into and would definitely look forward to receiving any donations that we could turn over. It's something that they're comfortable using and we'd love to give them."
Language barriers have sometimes also been a challenge, MacDonald said, adding the food bank could use volunteers who can speak Arabic.
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With files from Laura Chapin