My friend Ziyaad Mia has a great summer charitable drive going for the Daily Bread Food Bank called Give30.
Ziyaad is inviting everyone to sync up with their Muslim neighbours observing Ramadan and deal with local hunger at a time of really important need.
For Give30 – you can take 30 days and put aside a loonie a day, or choose your own small sacrifice – the price of a daily latte or just make any other donation that suits you.
If you’re a non-Muslim, you don’t have to go without food but you can and should take part in the spirit of Ramadan. This unique initiative creates a parallel experience for those fasting with the many families living on the margins in our city involuntarily go without food.
Sharing, and the sharing of food in particular, crosses many cultures. Identifying with others through food reminds us how much essential we have in common.
Back in the days when I ran the Daily Bread Food Bank, area Muslims were one of the first groups to reach out and adapt their specific traditions to help the general community, along with Sikhs, Jews and Ukrainians, to name but a few other dedicated communities.
Give30 just takes it one step further – albeit something non-Christians are already used to at Christmas time – where we can not only better understand the practices of our Muslim friends and neighbours, but use them as a reminder to help all types of families in need.
There is enormous practical benefit to giving during the summer period where food banks have a significant unmet need. Demand is usually down somewhat, but there are also less industry surpluses to be had so supplies are actually tighter.
Keeping kids from going hungry this summer is something we can always agree upon, but it takes leadership to create action. Kudos to Ziyaad for his initiative and to all the great people who Give30 this year.
- Gerard Kennedy