To help families during the holy fasting month of Ramadan, Islamic Relief USA, a nonprofit humanitarian and advocacy organization, has awarded a $12,500 grant to Atlanta Masjid Al Islam.
The grant will enable the masjid to provide food support, hygiene kits and other forms of assistance to individuals facing hardships. Pantry services will take place 1-4 p.m. Wednesday, May 5, at the masjid, 560 Fayetteville Road SE.
Food insecurity has grown since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic more than a year ago. According to statistics provided by Atlanta Community Food Bank, the percentage of people in Georgia who are food-insecure has increased from 13% to 16% during the pandemic (it rose nationally from 12% to 20%), and from 16% to 23% among children in the state, Ligaya Figueras reported in January.
“The month of Ramadan is an opportunity for Muslims across the world to increase giving and empathy. It is a time to remember our neighbors who are struggling and have found themselves in vulnerable circumstances,” Sharif Aly, chief executive officer of IRUSA, said in a press release. “The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has particularly exacerbated food insecurity throughout the country. We are pleased to be collaborating with community-based organizations to provide assistance during this holy month.”
Throughout the holy month of Ramadan, observers fast from sunrise to sunset and partake in nightly feasts.
It is believed to be the month in which Mohammad, whom Muslims consider a prophet, revealed the holy book — Quran — to Muslims.
The word “Ramadan” itself is taken from the Arabic word, “ramad,” an adjective describing something scorchingly dry or intensely heated by the sun.
The holy month continues through Tuesday, May 11.
Ramadan Food Pantry Services
1-4 p.m. Wednesday, May 5
Atlanta Masjid Al Islam
560 Fayetteville Road SE, Atlanta 30316