New York Jewish Charity Helps Fight Food Insecurity in the Muslim Community Over Ramadan 

This Ramadan, Met Council, a New York City-based Jewish nonprofit that helps the needy, provided food to Muslim families experiencing food insecurity so they could break their daily fasts. 

Breaking fast at Ramadan
 An iftar, a meal where Muslims break their daily fast during Ramadan. (photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture)

Muslims adhere to dietary requirements called halal that are very similar to rules governing kosher food. “We realized the need was tremendous, so we started reaching out to halal food pantries and providing them with food as needed,” said Met Council CEO David Greenfield.

During Ramadan, Muslims do not eat or drink anything during the day and break their fast only after sunset, so it is very important for them to have plenty of nutritious food for their iftar, the meal where they break their fast each day.

On Friday, May 7, Met Council joined Daneek Miller, the only Muslim member of New York’s City Council, to distribute 300 boxes of halal food at Masjid Al-Rahman Mosque in Queens Village. This was part of Met Council’s distribution of 1,550 boxes of halal food at New York City mosques that week.

Met Council was able to do this because of emergency funding provided by Nourish New York, a New York State pandemic-related program to fight food insecurity and support New York farms. Met Council campaigned for additional funds to be allocated for food for those affected by the pandemic. According to the nonprofit, more than $100 million was allocated for food pantries and the purchase of some 21 million pounds of surplus agricultural products from New York farmers, which has been distributed among more than 1.3 million households throughout the state.

According to Met Council’s website, the organization is America’s largest Jewish charity dedicated to serving the needy. Programs range from affordable housing at 20 locations to a family violence program, Holocaust survivor assistance, senior programming, crisis intervention, and the largest free kosher food distribution program in the world.

The New York Jewish Weekly reports that Met Council has distributed more than 15 pounds of free food to each of some 305,000 New Yorkers and assisted more than 380 food pantries since the start of the pandemic.


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Ramadan kosher halal Met Council food insecurity pandemic