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Community readies to ‘Give 30’ to stave off hunger

As April and Ramadan approach, so too does one of Kingston’s largest fundraisers for the area’s largest hunger-relief charities, the Partners in Mission Food Bank.

That fundraiser, the Give 30 campaign, began a decade ago when founder, Ziyaad Mia, designed the campaign as a means to bring attention to hunger local communities, and to encourage those from all backgrounds to support food banks during the month of Ramadan through Give30.org. The overall Give 30 campaign now supports 19 major food banks and anti-poverty organizations in Canada, the US, and Australia.

Food banks around the world have seen an increase in demand throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here in Kingston, Partners in Mission Food Bank distributed a record 14,229 food hampers in 2021. January and February of 2022 have created new records of their own, with the Food Bank distributing over 1,300 food hampers each month. Photo by Aaron Doucett.

Locally, Give 30 Team Kingston has run the campaign for nine years, two of which have taken place since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic – and event that has both highlighted and heightened food security and hunger issues around the world.

The virus has shown us that we are one human family, inextricably connected, interdependent, and in this together.”

– Ziyaad Mia

Going into the third campaign during the pandemic, Give 30 Team Kingston hopes to continue in its trajectory, raising more and more funds each year to help those in the local community confront hunger. Last year, Give 30 Kingston raised $12,116 for the Partners in Mission Food Bank, despite the challenges presented by the pandemic.

Give 30 Team Kingston is urging those locally to remember those who may still be struggling with hunger as the 2022 campaign approaches.

“Living through the challenges of the pandemic, more than ever, has emphasized that there are those who are struggling in our neighbourhoods,” said Mona Rahman, co-chair of Give 30 Team Kingston.

“Hunger is not an ‘over there’ problem; it’s a problem everywhere, even in Kingston.”

Dan Irwin, Executive Director of the Partners in Mission Food Bank, knows more than most that Kingston is in no way immune to the food security issues plaguing many communities across Canada and around the globe.

“The pandemic has highlighted food insecurity and, as we see additional inflation pressures, more are struggling. 2021 was a record year for us; we distributed 14,229 food hampers. January and February have created new records again, each month we distributed over 1,300 food hampers,” Irwin shared, noting the huge support Give 30 has been for his organization and thanking the local campaign for their leadership.

“Partners in Mission Food Bank does not receive government or agency funding – As a team with our community, we help our neighbours in need.”

Give 30 draws from the concepts of Ramadan, such as giving, building community, and understanding the challenges of hunger that others face, according to Michael Taylor, Give 30 Team Kingston co-chair. Photo by Michal Bozek.

Give 30 draws from the concepts Ramadan is based on, such as giving, building community, and understanding the challenges of hunger that others face, explained Give 30 Team Kingston co-chair Michael Taylor of why the campaign works so well in motivating people.

“Everyone can participate in the spirit of Ramadan,” he said. “Give 30 is not about any one group or faith – it’s about uniting in common humanity. Hunger and poverty know no race, religion, ethnicity, creed, gender, or age, and that’s why it’s important for everyone to join Give 30.”

Give 30 Team Kingston invites all local schools, community groups, and individuals to join this year’s campaign, which launches on Monday, Mar. 28 and will close on Sunday, Jul. 31, 2022. Ramadan takes place from Saturday, Apr. 2 to Sunday, May 1, 2022.

For more information, visit www.Give30.org, or find Give 30 Team Kingston on Facebook and Twitter.

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