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Letter: Give 30 Campaign thanks Kingston for overwhelming support

Imam AbuBakar Mulla (left), Partners in Mission Food Bank Executive Director Dan Irwin, and Mona Rahman, co-chair of Kingston’s Give 30 team met on Friday, Jul. 10, 2020 so the Islamic Society of Kingston could present the food bank with the funds raised thus far through this year’s Give 30 campaign ($7,500). Since then, the Give 30 campaign has more than doubled that contribution to the local food bank. Photo by Samantha Butler-Hassan.

To the Members of the Kingston community,

Monday, August 31, marked the final day of the Give 30 2020 Campaign. This year, the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic causing us to go into lockdown resulted in an early launch to ease the unexpected and increased needs brought to our local food banks. On behalf of the Give 30 Kingston Team — including our partners Dan Irwin and Debbie Graves (Partners in Mission Food Bank) — as well as our National Chair and Founder, Ziyaad Mia, we would like to take this opportunity to relay our appreciation to this great community who, particularly this year, stepped up to help our neighbours in need during very challenging times, to raise a grand total of $16,231. This far exceeds any total raised in past Give 30 campaigns in Kingston.

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a very different Ramadan for the Muslim community in Kingston, a community whose tradition has been to join together for community dinners every weekend, each organized by a different group of families, to break the fast together. With a lockdown in place, members of the Islamic Society of Kingston pledged and raised $7,500 (the equivalent of 50 meals per day of Ramadan) towards the campaign, an idea sparked by community member Jimmy Hassan, who suggested that the funds normally used for the community meals be donated to feed those in need in the city.

Give 30 was founded in 2012 to bring attention to hunger in our communities and encourage people of all backgrounds to support local food banks during the month of Ramadan through Give30.org. The initial focus was to motivate people who are fasting in Ramadan to donate the money they save from skipping meals over the month. But, as emphasized by Ziyaad Mia, people who are not fasting can also take part; donations come from people of all faiths and backgrounds. This year the campaign launched early and extended beyond Ramadan throughout the summer. The initiative supported 19 major food banks and anti-poverty organizations across Canada, the United States and Australia, which together serve hundreds of thousands of people.

Give 30 is not about a particular group or faith, but about uniting in common humanity and, once again, Kingston has exemplified this. Hunger and poverty know no race, religion, ethnicity, creed, gender or age, and we should join together as a community to alleviate it.

Thank you for your efforts to ensure that your neighbours do not go to sleep hungry. We have been told by Dan Irwin (Executive Director of Partners in Mission Food Bank) that, through community donations and government contributions during these unexpected times, they have been able to stockpile enough food to take us to the end of 2020.

“2021 will see challenges with our economic recovery and potentially an increase in need, with a decrease in ability of others to donate,” he said.

As we end our campaign, we hope that you remember them and make an effort to contribute to Partners in Mission regularly, by donating food, money, or just time to volunteer.

Together, we can help fight hunger.

In peace,

Mona Rahman & Michael Taylor
Give 30 Kingston Campaign Co-Chairs

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