Searching high and low, aisle after magnificent aisle, for the best deals

Last night, we tried a new wrinkle in the traditional way a food drive is conducted. Normally when an organization wants to collect food for a specific food bank or organization, boxes are placed in a specified location, flyers are posted, and announcements are made encouraging community members to donate items. We decided to add a layer to our food drive by having the youth go on a shopping spree at Walmart. Each team of (2) youth was given a $15 spending limit. $14 was available to spend on canned goods, cereal boxes, water bottles, juice bottles, or other non-perishable food items. The remaining $1 had to be used for sales tax (see we’re teaching youth basic economics!).

After going over some basic rules (no running, yelling, or general nuisance-causing behavior) at the masjid youth

Mohamed and Nabeel carefully find their way to every kid's favorite aisle...JUNK FOOD!!!

boarded our selected modes of transportation and drove to Walmart. The short trip to Walmart was followed by each team eagerly grabbing s shopping cart. The goal was for each team to collect the most pounds of non-perishable food items which they could buy in $15. Normally youth dislike going shopping but when you give them purchasing power, their sad frowns turn upside down to smiling faces.

The shopping spree allowed us to educate the youth about basic concepts like unit prices (the cost per ounce/pound/liter of each item). When comparing between 2 similar canned good products with different prices, they were able to figure out which item would give them more bang for their dollar.

Each team of youth was given a sheet to help them keep track of the cost of the items in their shopping carts and how much money they had left to spend.

Murtaza carefully calculates how much money his team has left. Subtract 2 from 5 and carry the 3...why am I being forced to do math over summer vacation?


Oooo popsicle sticks! I wonder how much these bags weigh

Muhammad, Amr, and Hazem thought they found the secret treasure which would lead their team to victory – $0.76 juice.

Hazem finds the hidden treasure...$0.76 Koolaid! Problem is all the shelves are empty

Unfortunately for them, the “juice” was actually Koolaid powder which weighed very little. With disappointment, their team moved on to search for a better deal. Teams finally decided to load up on water bottles since they would be able to purchase 4-5 trays of water bottles for under $14.

Finally, the best deal is found: water bottles! Too bad Haroon and Salah placed a limit of 2 per team

Unfortunately for these teams, Salah and Haroon set a limit for 2 trays of water per team. As teams quickly raced to find additional items to put in their shopping carts, a minor traffic jam began to pop-up in the canned goods aisle.

Traffic jam on aisle 4 - Muhammad looks like he just jumped out of the Matrix

After 40 minutes of intense aisle-to-aisle shopping, youth were finally ready to check-out and head back to the masjid.

Tassawar and Ali going with Popsicles and water


Amr, Hazem, and Muhammad going with the all-liquid diet

After arriving back at the masjid and unloading all the items purchased, a new problem was discovered – would  there be enough space in the donation boxes to hold all of these items?

Welcome to the ISGL Bazaar!

In order to make everything fit properly, the youth had to work with their teammate to remove every single item in their boxes. They then re-organized items they had just bought from Walmart and packaged them with the previously donated items.

In order to fit everything in the brown donation box, youth had to re-organize their items

Alhamdulillah after a little wrangling, all the teams were able to successfully fit their items in the donation box…well sort of.

Items packaged neatly in the donation boxes


Some boxes are now overflowing with canned goods...ahh the barakah

Jazakum Allahu Khairan to our community for providing donations to support the ISGL Youth Group food drive! In shaa Allah every item collected will be of benefit to a local community member in need.