Did you know: The Lafayette-based Food Finders Food Bank distributes 2.5 million pounds of food annually to over 150 non-profit agencies in 16 Indiana counties? The food is distributed and served to local families in need.

Serving members of the local community, particularly the orphans, needy, and poor, is an important responsibility of every Muslim. The duty to feed the poor and orphans is encouraged by Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, in the Holy Qur’an, in close translation to the meaning:

And they (righteous believers) give food, in spite of their love for it, to the poor, the orphan and the captive. (Saying): “We feed you seeking Allah’s Face only. We wish (from you) no reward, nor thanks from you.‘” (Surah al-Insan (76), Verses 8-9)

Honoring this tradition and with the hope of imparting the importance of community service to our youth, the ISGL Youth Group conducted a two-week food drive to benefit the poor and needy in the local Lafayette and West Lafayette area. The food drive began with a thirty-minute tour of the local Food Finders Food Bank in Lafayette, IN on Friday, July 9. The youth toured the facility and learned how volunteers sort, organize, package, and distribute donated items to local members of the community in need. We would like to thank Danielle Goldberg, Volunteer Coordinator at Food Finders, for taking time to give the youth a tour of the food bank and answer our questions.

After returning from the food bank, Salah gave a brief khatarah (reminder) on Surah al-Ma’oon (107). Salah reminded the youth about the importance of helping people in need and the strong reprimand given in Surah Ma’oon against those who discourage others from feeding the orphans and the poor.

Youth were divided in two teams and given two weeks to work together to collect as many non-perishable food items as they could to assist local individuals in need. Each team came up with their own plan (with help from Salah and Haroon) on how to collect items. Ideas the youth employed to collect donations included: making an announcement after the Friday prayer service (jumm’ah), handing out empty plastic bags with a mini-flyer explaining the community service project to their neighbors, and contacting the manager of a local supermarket requesting support for the project.

Empty donation bin

Team 1 donation bin

Team 2 donation bin

After two weeks of intense lobbying, both teams combined efforts to raise 127 pounds of food. Congratulations to all the participants! A breakdown of how much each team raised individually:

Team 1: Mohaned, Murtaza, Amr, and Hasan

  • Collected 58 pounds of non-perishable food items

Team 2: Abdelrahman, Mujtaba, and Tassawar

  • Collected 69 pounds of non-perishable food items