Unity House’s Bethany Community Meals received a welcome donation: a new freezer to store halal meat. The term Halal is food that is permissible under Islamic law. Since Halal meat cannot be stored with non-Halal meat, the donation of a freezer for storage of Halal meat is a generous gift.
While all the donated meat meets these strict Islamic rules, it is meant to feed everyone who comes to Bethany Community Meals.
Said Christine Nealon, Director of Unity House’s Community Resources which oversees food preparation at Bethany Community Meals, “Meat is very expensive. It’s helping us so much in closing the food budget gap as well as really paying close attention to the cultural relativity of what people come with and honoring that and providing a higher level of dignity because they will be able to get meat within the faith tradition that they practice.”
The Muslim Soup Kitchen Project was started in February of 2003 by a group of Islamic students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy. Over the years it has grown to now have more than 150 volunteers serving between Albany Schenectady and Troy. The group is currently based in Latham, out of the new Al-Hidaya Center on Troy-Schenectady Road. The group, often abbreviated to MSKP, volunteers regularly at Bethany Community Meals and other food programs in the Capital District.
The Zakat Foundation is an international foundation dedicated to dedicated to alleviating the immediate needs of the poorest communities.
In addition to Tuesday’s major donation, the volunteers have arranged for the local Muslim market, Duniya Supermarket at 688 New Loudon Rd. in Latham, to regularly collect donations of halal meat from its customers for the Bethany Community Meals Program.