Zakat Foundation of America will transport 23 tons of farm-fresh produce to New York for free distribution to low-income families, the jobless, and undocumented in all five boroughs – with volunteers from nearly 40 Islamic centers delivering grocery packages directly to the homes of those unable to reach designated food-sharing sites.
The global charity’s relief workers and volunteers from its local partners will give out 1,760 containers of farm-fresh produce – each package brimming with about 25 pounds of colorful fruit and vegetables – to families in need.
Zakat Foundation, headquartered near Chicago in Bridgeview, Illinois, will haul the much-needed fresh- food aid from Midwest farmers into the city, reeling in the wake of the Minneapolis police murder of George Floyd, followed by days of anti-police brutality, anti-racist protests, citywide curfews, and military- style crowd-dispersing tactics to thwart demonstrators. The unrest has shuttered stores, shut down municipal services, stranded countless of the most vulnerable, and separated many from access to food.
Hillside Islamic Center, at 300 Hillside Avenue, New Hyde Park, will serve as the central food-packages pick-up location for organization volunteers. They will take their produce and grocery allotments back to their home mosques and centers for distribution to their communities.
Produce crates hold fresh tomatoes, apples, oranges, cucumbers, lettuce, celery, carrots, asparagus, onions, potatoes, and other fruits and vegetables. Grocery boxes contain rice, oil, milk, pasta, sugar, noodles, and tea.
The protests have come on the heels of New York’s massive coronavirus outbreak, which struck marginalized communities and neighborhoods with appallingly high infection and death rates, hitting the poor especially hard economically with widespread job losses and little government relief.
Since the COVID-19 crisis began, Zakat Foundation has distributed at least 44,000 pounds of potatoes, hundreds of hot meals, and thousands of pounds of groceries to New York’s afflicted among African American, Latino, Bangladeshi, Indian, Arab, and other communities through 26 community organization partners.
In addition, the international humanitarian agency has distributed 3,000 masks to essential workers and 2,500 medical gloves to Stony Brook University Medical center.
Hillside Islamic Center; 300 Hillside Avenue, New Hyde Park, NY 11040
10 a.m. Sunday, June 7, 2020