Providing food for those in need in Gaza and Lebanon during Ramadan

Trucks loaded with Ramadan food parcels are going to five distribution centers in Gaza.

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.

The contents of one of Anera’s Ramadan food parcels in Gaza.

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!

Ramadan, Food Parcels, Gaza
Workers assemble the Ramadan 2020 food parcels in Gaza.

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.

A worker weighs bags of eggplants for our Ramadan food parcels in Gaza, Ramadan 2020.
Assembling bags of eggplants from Anera-supported greenhouses in Gaza for hungry families.
Ramadan, Food Parcels, Gaza, potatoes
That’s a lot of spuds! These potatoes are a component of our food parcels distributed to hungry families in Gaza for Ramadan in 2020.
Workers bag onions for the parcels
Onions are a key item in the Palestinian pantry
All of the items in one of our Ramadan food parcels arrayed in the style of knolling photography
We tried our hand at knolling photography here to capture all of the items in one of our Ramadan food parcels in Gaza.
A worker takes a Ramadan food parcel out of the warehouse for distribution
A worker takes a Ramadan food parcel out of the warehouse for distribution
A family member prepares to take their food parcel home in their bicycle basket.
A family member prepares to take their food parcel home in their bicycle basket.
A young girl smiles while sitting next ot heaps of lentils and other food parcel ingredients
This young girl in Gaza will be eating well tonight!

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!

Rania visits with Ala and her children at her home as she unpacks her box of groceries.

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.

A worker puts food items into each box
We are taking precautions such as wearing masks and gloves at every stage of the food distributions to protect the safety of our staff and food parcel recipients.
Mona Hajj Ramadan 2020 food parcel assembly in a warehouse
Ramadan food parcel assembly in action! These parcels are generously funded by 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.

Loading a pickup truck with food parcels for distribution
Anera and our partners use whatever vehicles we have access to to distribute food parcels!

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

Safaa Ahmad, Anera’s education field coordinator in Tripoli, Lebanon takes a moment to talk about Anera’s Ramadan food distribution in a local neighborhood.


Cooking hot meals for Ramadan

In the village of Bibneen, in Akkar

Implemented with our local partner, the Awareness and Consolation Association.

Vocational cooking students help prepare hot Ramadan meals for distribution in the village of Bibneen in Akkar, Lebanon.
Vocational cooking students help prepare hot Ramadan meals for distribution in the village of Bibneen in Akkar, Lebanon.
Vocational cooking students prepare cucumbers and eggplants.
Vocational cooking students prepare cucumbers and eggplants.

A young man in Soufra's kitchen prepares trays of hot meals.
Anera partnered with Soufra during Ramadan to prepare hot meals for those in need.

In addition to the food parcels, Anera adapted our vocational cooking courses to pay the students to help prepare hot meals for vulnerable families.

Vocational cooking students prepare tomatoes for Ramadan meals
Vocational cooking students prepare tomatoes for Ramadan meals
Savory pieces of chicken prepared in bulk for our Ramadan hot meals in Lebanon.
Savory pieces of chicken prepared in bulk for our Ramadan hot meals in Lebanon.
Stacks of our Ramadan hot meals packaged for delivery in Lebanon
Did someone order a hot meal for delivery?

WebIftars

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!


OUR BLOG

Related

We will update this log regularly to provide an ongoing report back to donors on the ways Anera is responding during this COVID-19 crisis. We will also be providing occasional updates about conditions on the ground and our staff. Please…

Read More

Anera’s staff in Lebanon are making their communities better during COVID-19 with sustainable solutions.

Read More

What does it take to put together a sustainable food parcel in Gaza? Anera’s Rania Elhelo explains the process — from the greenhouse, the warehouse and to Palestinian families’ homes. Anera’s food parcels provide Palestinian families enough food for a…

Read More