WASHINGTON, DC, June 4, 2018 – Teaming up with Feed the Children and the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, Zakat Foundation of America today supplied 400 needful families in Washington DC’s historic and badly impoverished Anacostia neighborhood each a week’s store of food, daily essentials, and children’s books to kick off Ramadan’s special last 10 days.
“It was important to us this Ramadan to work in the underserved communities in Washington,” said Trevor Moe, staff member at Zakat Foundation’s recently opened Government Relations and Strategic Partnerships office. “We met with mosque partners who identified families in need, and we worked with our other partners to serve the people of the broader community in Anacostia.”
Each recipient, qualified by a local not-for-profit, received a 25-pound box of nonperishable food goods, a 15-pound box of personal care items, a box of AVON dignity products, and books from Disney Publishing Worldwide.
“We recognize hunger can’t be fought alone, but by working together, we can provide food and essentials to millions of children and families who live in poverty,” said Travis Arnold, President and CEO of Feed the Children. “The work Feed the Children does would be impossible without the support of our corporate partners.”
Zakat Foundation’s new DC location gives its donors a means to expand the scope and scale of their U.S. humanitarian work by reaching some of America’s most impoverished people. People see Washington DC’s soaring median household incomes and wealthy neighborhoods and assume it’s the storybook capital city. But just across the Anacostia River, the distorted mirror image of miles of poor communities suffering long-term and overwhelming structural indigence quickly dispels this idea.
West of the Anacostia River, Capitol Hill celebrates an economic boom that has given two-thirds of its residents, who are white, an annual household income average of $140,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Yet on its east bank, its 96 percent black residents endure a staggering 20 percent unemployment rate, while half the area’s children live in destitution.
Anacostia, the neighborhood immediately east of the river that takes its name from it, houses 110,000 people who bear the brunt of these numbers. That’s where the Ramadan distribution took place.
“Everywhere Zakat Foundation is present, we first strive to assist our neighbors,” Moe said. “Providing nutritional support to 400 families was our primary focus, but what made my day was watching the kids light up when they received the gifts of the books. I feel privileged to be part of such a great organization and this amazing work.”
Brittany Brown, a staff member at the new Washington DC office, echoed that sentiment. “This is the best part of working for the Zakat Foundation — immediately being able to give back to our neighbors.”