Providing food for those in need in Gaza and Lebanon during Ramadan
Every year during Ramadan, Anera assembles food parcels with an array of pantry essentials for hungry families in Gaza and Lebanon. This year, due to the economic distress caused by COVID-19, our food parcels were even more important. To meet the heightened need, we have expanded and incorporated new elements into our distributions this year.
Ensuring vulnerable families in Gaza have groceries to prepare nutritious meals
At the end of April, with funding from Islamic Relief USA, our team began assembling Ramadan food parcels for over 3,000 families throughout Gaza. Anera is distributing the food to families of five or more who live marginalized areas, have no source of income, are women-headed, and who have a member with a disability. This year, for the first time, we are also including fresh produce grown on local family greenhouses that Anera has built and supported.
Food Parcel Packing in Gaza
Anera employed workers to assemble a large number of food parcels in Gaza. Trucks loaded with the parcels made deliveries to five different distribution centers all over Gaza. Thank you Islamic Relief USA for funding much of this vital effort during Ramadan!
We are so excited that our food parcels in Gaza this year include fresh produce grown on Palestinian family farms that Anera has supported with greenhouses. The gorgeous eggplants and potatoes (pictured below) were bagged up yesterday and delivered to families today.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, distribution of food parcels required some changes from past years to maintain physical distancing as much as possible and minimize the risk of virus transmission. Rania Elhelo, Anera’s communications manager in Palestine, visited several of our distribution locations and shows what the process of distributing the food parcels looks like this year.
By mid-May, Anera’s Gaza team finished distributing 3,552 Ramadan food parcels funded by IRUSA. They did it in two and a half days! The parcels contain a generous amount of food, including fresh produce grown in family greenhouses that Anera has supported. Thank you, IRUSA, for your support!
What does it take to put together a sustainable food parcel in Gaza? Rania explains the process — from the greenhouse, to the distribution center, and finally to Palestinian family homes.
Anera’s food parcels provide Palestinian families enough food for a month while providing income for Palestinian farmers who supply fresh produce.
Individual supporters are helping to make sure that vulnerable families have food in the pantry this Ramadan
In addition to the Ramadan food parcels distributed with funding from IRUSA to feed several thousand families, our community of small and large individual donors help to feed as many families as possible. Pictured below are food parcels assembled with support from Mona Hajj.
Making mujadara with food parcel ingredients
Rania visited Shireen’s home to learn how she makes mujadara — a delicious and hearty rice and lentil dish with caramelized onions. Shireen is making it using ingredients supplied by Anera’s food parcel. Watch how she does it and try making it for yourself!
Ramadan food parcels distributions in Lebanon
Anera is assembling and distributing food parcels to families experiencing food-insecurity across Lebanon this Ramadan. Many more families are finding their pantries bare this year in the wake of the ongoing economic crisis and loss of work during the COVID-19 closures. Thanks to supporters like you, we are helping to ensure these families have essential groceries in stock.
In early May in Burj El Barajneh Anera and some of our vocational students assembled and distributed food parcels to local families in need.
Food parcels for Wavel Palestinian Refugee Camp residents
In the Bekaa, Anera assembled and delivered 600 food parcels to families in the Wavel Palestinian Refugee Camp near Baalbeck. Thank you to UNICEF for funding this effort, and to our local partner, Al Najdeh Association, for helping with distribution and identifying the most vulnerable families in the camp.
In Tripoli, Lebanon
Cooking hot meals for Ramadan
In the village of Bibneen, in Akkar
Implemented with our local partner, the Awareness and Consolation Association.
In addition to the food parcels, Anera adapted our vocational cooking courses to pay the students to help prepare hot meals for vulnerable families.
We also hosted WebIftars in May for our east and west coast communities in the U.S. to come together (virtually) during the month of Ramadan to support vulnerable families in Gaza and Lebanon. Contributions provided Zakat-eligible support for the distribution of food parcels and humanitarian relief.
We were honored to feature special guests, including comedians Maysoon Zayid and Amer Zahr, and musicians Ramy Adly (on the oud), Michael Ibrahim (on the ney), Layth Sidiq (on the violin), and 17-year-old qanun prodigy Firas al-Shirafi in Gaza.
You can still watch both of these virtual iftars on our Facebook page if you missed them. And it’s not too late to support our Ramadan 2020 food parcel distributions!
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