Ramadan food packages help families in need
“Fasting isn’t only about abstaining from food and water. It is a symbol of love and kindness, an opportunity to think about others.”
During the festive month of Ramadan, Muslims globally celebrate through reflection, devotion and generosity. It is a time to take extra care to treat others with kindness and to give to those in need.
“Fasting isn’t only about abstaining from food and water. That is meaningless by itself. It is a symbol of love and kindness, an opportunity to think about others,” says Leila, one of the recipients of an Anera food package this week.
Every year during Ramadan Anera delivers food packages to poor families throughout Gaza. The parcels include staples, like rice, oil, flour, sugar, pasta, beans, and Ramadan-specific foods like dates.
The recent tensions in Gaza coupled with cuts in aid from UNRWA and USAID have compounded the impact of the years of living under blockade, leaving more families than ever without the basic essentials for a dignified life.
Leila, who has lived in Zaytoun for 25 years, says “The economy is tough this year. It has been an unprecedented humanitarian disaster since the war of 2014.”
“[This] is the first and the only package we have received. Ramadan is a month of blessings and thankfully blessings come with it.” --Leila
Many families in Gaza who have lost any sources of meaningful income have been forced to move to makeshift homes and confront a daily struggle to obtain essentials like food and water.
Mona and her family are also recipients of an Anera food parcel. She and her six children live in a cobbled-together house with broken sanitation facilities. Mona quickly plans seven meals she will cook with the ingredients in her food package: falafel, macaroni, lentil soup, mujadara, rice pudding, and mashed beans and rice. She plans to save the remaining items like cheese for suhoor, the pre-dawn breakfast during Ramadan.
Driving north to Beit Hanoun, a crowd gathers at the delivery site after receiving text messages from Anera’s local community partner organization.
“I got a text. I rushed to the place first thing in the morning,” Iman tells us, lamenting the pressure the unemployment crisis is putting on families like hers. She has also been battling cancer.
Another food package recipient, Rihab, is a mother of eight who has lived in Beit Hanoun for seven years. She bemoans the miserable conditions people are experiencing these days.
“Unemployment rates are high and many families are dependent of food aid, I think this package will feed us for two weeks.”
Anera is distributing 1,000 food packages to needy families during Ramadan this year in Al Shuka, Beit Hanoun, Zaytoun, Deir Al Balah, and Khan Younis.
Donate by May 31 to send food packages.
Before Ramadan comes to an end, let families in Gaza and Lebanon know that you are thinking of them today and always.