Saturday, December 29, 2007

Metro Detroit Muslims donate substanial amount of meat to the poor today

Charities enjoy Muslim holy day tradition of sacrifice
Meat donations for poor increase in year of belt-tightening.
Gregg Krupa / The Detroit News

At a time of acute need, local food banks and soup kitchens say the tradition of Muslims donating meat from sheep or lambs sacrificed for the holy day Eid al-Adha -- the Feast of Sacrifice -- is particularly welcome this year.

Muslims in Metro Detroit this year collected nearly four times the amount of meat they did three years ago, when the program began. Distribution begins at 10 a.m. today from Gleaners Food Bank.

"There will be a lot of Muslims benefiting from this donated meat as well as a lot of non-Muslims," Dawud Walid of the Council on American Islamic Relations.

"What really increased the donations is that we ran out of meat last year before we met the demand that is out there."

In the first year of the program, spearheaded by the Islamic Shura Council of Michigan, the meat from 167 sheep or lambs was donated, Walid said. Last year, the number was 263. This year, Walid said, the meat comes from 625 of the animals.

For Gleaners, and for operations around the city that feed the poor of all faiths and no faiths, like the soup kitchen at the Muslim Center on Woodrow Wilson in Detroit, the timing of the donation could not be more beneficial. Charities working with the hungry in Metro Detroit are reporting historic shortages of food.

Experts attribute the shortage internationally to rising energy prices and the increased use of corn and grain to create fuel. While charities in Metro Detroit also experience that impact, the dire economy in Michigan is fueling the crisis.(MORE)

DETROIT (2007-12-28) Thousands of pounds of meat will be distributed to poor families across southeast Michigan tomorrow.

The meat will be donated by Muslim families as part of the religious holiday Eid al-Adha - which commemorates Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac under the order of God, or Allah.

"During the hajj season, Muslim families will customarily either slaughter a lamb or pay to have a lamb to be killed, and then the meat is distributed to the poor," said Dawud Walid of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Michigan.(MORE)

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