“What A Relief” Podcast 14: Traveling to Deserts—Food Deserts: You Don’t Have to Go Far

B.C. Dodge & R. Mordant Mahon talk to Islamic Relief USA’s Naeem Muhammad about caring for our communities in this episode of “What a Relief!” — IRUSA’s official podcast.

Are you familiar with the term food desert? Many of our American neighbors live in them.

In this episode, IRUSA’s Naeem Muhammad discusses what a food desert is and how IRUSA helps our neighbors in the United States during Ramadan and the rest of the year.

As community outreach manager,* Naeem has focused on engaging with the community and learning about their needs.

One need is food, and IRUSA helps with that year-round. But last Ramadan, Naeem helped launch a new approach to hunger relief—he traveled the country to bring boxes of food to families in low-income communities.

“Last year was the first time we created these boxes here to give to families in the U.S., to continue the tradition we have been doing around the world already,” he says.

These boxes were distributed from coast to coast with the help of many social service centers that IRUSA works with. In the south side of Chicago, Naeem worked with a community leader who was grateful to have food to hand out to people she knew really needed it.

“They wanted to serve their community but did not have the funds to do it this year, to really make that difference,” he says. “She and her daughter were telling us that what we picked was perfect. It really met the families’ needs on the ground, and it just came at a time when the families in the areas needed it to make Ramadan more special.”

Listen to the podcast to hear Naeem talk about what it’s like to distribute food right in the community he grew up in.

And hear a special treat—a Ramadan rap.

 

“What a Relief!” is the official podcast of Islamic Relief USA. Co-hosted by social media specialist B.C. Dodge, & Mordant Mahon, IRUSA’s “What a Relief!” puts a human face on what’s going on in the world and how you can enact positive change in it. New episodes every week!

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*After this episode was taped, Naeem moved to a new position at IRUSA — U.S. programs manager. In this new role, he will continue to care for our neighbors in the United States.