The following is an excerpt from an article posted in The  | April 14, 2021

“Almost 4,500 free halal meals will be distributed across the five boroughs this Ramadan, through the newly announced ‘Iftar on the Go’ program.

On Tuesday, Comptroller Scott Stringer in partnership with Islamic Relief USA, local elected officials, Muslim community leaders and hunger relief organizations announced the new program, which will expand access to free, halal meals and conduct SNAP outreach in multiple languages for New Yorkers during Ramadan.

“Ramadan is a time to reflect and take care of one other. No one should have to go hungry in the middle of a public health crisis, and especially during Ramadan,” Stringer said of the new program.

“I am proud to stand with Muslim community leaders and food security advocates to announce our five-borough Iftar on the Go to get halal meals, nutrition and support to families in need.”

He said Ramadan was also a time when the City should ramp up vaccination outreach and “meet Muslim New Yorkers where they are this holy month.” “Mosques, community centers and other places of worship can be lifesaving immunization hubs during Ramadan to protect thousands of our neighbors.”

He said the City needed to double-down on pop-up vaccination sites across the five boroughs to include more mosques, community centers and other places of worship, and it also needed to deploy mobile vaccination vans to mosques after evening prayers, “specifically targeting transit-deserts and areas disproportionately impacted by COVID.”

Stringer also urged the City to restore and ensure quality and diversity in the Ramadan Halal emergency meal boxes, which he said added much-needed capacity to feed families last year.

Islamic Relief USA CEO Sharif Aly said the pandemic had exacerbated food insecurity throughout the country and he was pleased to be providing hot meals to those breaking their fasts or simply seeking a nutritious dinner during holy month.

“The month of Ramadan is an opportunity for Muslims across the world to increase giving and empathy. It is a time to remember our neighbors who are struggling and have found themselves in vulnerable circumstances,” Aly said.

Iftar on the Go halal meal distribution and SNAP outreach is being held at 236 Neptune Ave. in Brooklyn in partnership with APNA Brooklyn Community Center. The meals will be available Friday, April 16, April 2, April 30 and May 7 at 2:00pm.

APNA Brooklyn Community Center CEO Erum Hanif said Stringer was laying out a “smart and strategic” set of recommendations to the City that would “lift up approximately 1 million Muslim New Yorkers, many of whom are currently underserved and unrepresented during the most challenging time of their lives.”

“From helping launch a pilot program for free halal school lunches to proposing a food security plan with increased cultural and linguistic competence, Comptroller Stringer understands that our community shouldn’t have to choose between our faith and feeding our families,” Hanif said.”



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