Assalamu-alaikum (peace be upon you) fellow readers,

In a community with a population just under 200,000 people adjacent to a world-class public university (Purdue) and boasting one of the best public school systems in the state (West Lafayette School Corporation), 20.0% of the population in Tippecanoe County lives below the poverty line (according to the U.S. Census Bureau). Every day, many of us rise in the morning with the knowledge of what we plan to consume for that day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. What we fail to realize is that around us there are people in our community who don’t have that peace of mind; they arise each day wondering where their family’s next meal will come from. Some depend upon government assistance in the form of food stamps, others rely on local soup kitchens, while still others depend on the generosity of community members to find a meal. A portion of the population affected by the lack of food, perhaps the most innocent and least capable of caring for themselves, are children.

In an effort to help our young men connect with the plight of youth in our community who struggle to eat three square meals a day, we provided our youth with the opportunity to prepare a hearty dinner for families taken care of by the local Salvation Army Emergency Family Shelter. Using the wonderful equipment available in the ISGL kitchen, our young men went to work preparing a wonderful three-course dinner. Afterward, they enjoyed a meal themselves followed by a dose of light fun.

What did our young men prepare for the guests at the Salvation Army Emergency Family Shelter? Check out the pictures below to find out!

Salah provides encouragement and tips on making a delicious Peanut Butter & Jelly (PB & J) sandwich.

Assembly line! Mohamed preps a slice of bread with creaammmyyy peanut butter…

…Mustafa gently spreads grape jelly onto his slice of bread…

…and Shujath smashes the slices of bread together to form a lovely PB & J sandwich! YUM!

Meanwhile, in the kitchen, Mujtaba fills a bowl with water…

…as Danyal dumps the water into our gargantuan-sized cooking pot. What will they be cooking, we wonder?

PASTA! The box of Spaghetti explodes from Mujtaba’s hand into the pot.

Danyal mixes our secret homemade sauce for our pasta. Remember the key is 12 turns per minute Danyal!

Ihsan prepares the final pasta product for consumption by our guests…

…as our youth prepare dessert! Hamza uses the double knife technique to perfectly slice through his watermelon.

Murtaza carefully separates the good stuff from the green shell…

…and then he proceeds to use his refined knife skills to divide his watermelon into equal-sized pieces.

Upon completion of their tasks, our youth were given the green light to make their own PB & J sandwich. Ahmed decided to prepare his version of the largest edible PB & J tower in the world.

As our mentors prepare a snack for our youth downstairs, upstairs in the main prayer hall, our youth choose sides for an impromptu game of tug-of-war.


An exhausted lad lies on the floor in need of energy…

Our mentors are pleased to revive our youth with a hearty meal of spaghetti, lemonade, and watermelon. BISMILLAH, dig in!

Ihsan’s sidekick Salah hides in the kitchen and fills balloons with water for a secret ploy…

The water balloons have emerged from the kitchen for…a WATER BALLOON FIGHT!!!

Mujtaba shows no mercy to poor Shujath.

A balloon bursts in front of poor Mustafa; now he’s all wet!

Mass chaos ensuing outside the ISGL – take cover!