Delivering more vegetable baskets to vulnerable families in Gaza
Anera's food distributions continued after Ramadan ended, delivering more fresh produce from small farmers that Anera has provided with greenhouses.
Fresh produce are a small mercy for Rahma
Rahma is a mother of nine. Her husband suffers from asthma and must visit the hospital regularly. The family has been living in the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City for the past 12 years. Without a steady income, the family has survived immense financial burdens.
The family has coped despite lacking even basic furniture. “I have never had a kitchen so I put the stove on the floor,” Rahma says.
Despite the many difficulties at home, Rahma has always made sure her kids go to school and never miss a class. Pandemic-related restrictions, though, have forced all the kids to stay home. “We are all crammed into this small space trying to cope," she says.
“We received a valuable [food] package during Ramadan. It was incredible when I got the call [telling us about it]," she says.
Food packages to vulnerable families typically end after the month of Ramadan. Fortunately, this year Anera was able to make another round of deliveries, pleasantly surprising recipients.
Also unusual, was the inclusion of fresh produce this year.
“Normally, we won't expect a package that contains vegetables, but this time we did. It meant a lot to us,” she says.
Thanks to funding from Islamic Relief USA, in early June Anera delivered the second round of 3,500 vegetable baskets to the neediest families in Gaza.
This supplemental food package included 12 kilos of tomatoes, nine kilos of onions, six kilos of cucumbers, and four kilos of eggplants.
Afaf, the volunteer
Afaf is a volunteer who works at the Eastern Society for Community Development in Zeitoun. It is one of 10 local partners that Anera selected as distribution sites for families to pick up their food.
Afaf and the team at the society are dedicated to their local community. “We think of all those people [in need] during the pandemic. We are educating people on personal and household hygiene to minimize risk from the virus.” And the organization has had to put in place special precautions during the distributions this year.
"When we develop deeper connections with families, we get to know their lives better," Afaf says. She has noticed the number of families without an income continues to grow. Her observation matches the dire economic statistics and the paralysis of normal life in Gaza.
She is glad to be doing something to help address the need she is seeing. "Nothing is more rewarding than putting smiles on people’s faces."
Afaf hopes her volunteer work will contribute to making the world a better place. “We hope to cover more needs in different neighborhoods,” she says.
The views expressed herein are those of Anera and shall not, in any way whatsoever, be construed to reflect the official opinion of IRUSA, its Islamic Relief affiliates, or its donors.