// Bronx food pantries run by Muslim Women’s Initiative will close as funding vanis
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« on: Dec 11, 2011 06:11 AM »


Sad to hear about. But proud of their past work...

Bronx food pantries run by Muslim Women’s Initiative will close as funding vanishes, demand rises
Food pantries in Highbridge and Parkchester closing Dec. 31


NEW YORK DAILY NEWS


Nurah Ama’tullah, left, Executive Director, Muslim Women's Institute for Research and Development, and her intern, Sarah Abdullah.
   
A community group that feeds more than 10,000 people in the Bronx through two food pantries plans to shut its doors at the end of the year.

The Muslim Women’s Initiative for Research and Development has been distributing halal groceries to needy Bronxites since 1997. The tough economy has shrunk donoations at the same time that residents’ need is surging, says Executive Director Nurah Ama’tullah.

“When investments took a dive, the first thing they cut was philanthropic giving,” said Ama’tullah. Meanwhile, “The Bronx is the hungriest borough in the city.”

A 70% slump in donations and a more than 50% increase in demand for services this year has put the organization $48,000 in the hole, Ama’tullah said.

Unless a sudden flood of donations can bridge the gap, the food pantries in Highbridge and Parkchester will close on Dec. 31.

“This is very important for me,” said Antonia Cruz, 52, an out-of-work mother of five. “The food is very good. I don’t have public assistance. I hope they don’t close.”

The group’s five employees--Ama’tullah, three other administrators and a pantry manager--have been working without pay since Memorial Day, she said, adding that while volunteers help keep the pantries running, some issues have to be handled by paid staff.

“Every position that you need in a supermarket is required for a food pantry,” Ama’tullah said.

Triada Stampas, director of government relations and public education for The Food Bank for New York City, which supplies food to MWIRD, said the group is facing the same problem as many other pantries and soup kitchens citywide.

“Their operating expenses really became insupportable within their budget, which is a tragic situation, Stampas said. “They’ve been a really good partner that has met real needs in their community. We’re really sad to see them go.”

The New York Women’s Foundation’s support of the group will end this month after five years.

The Union Square Awards helped fund MWIRD in the past, but its spokesperson said they focus on emerging organizations and typically limit funding to 10 years.

Though U.S. Rep Jose Serrano earmarked $100,000 for the group in 2010, no federal dollars made it to MWIRD’s coffers, a Serrano spokesman confirmed.
   
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/bronx/bronx-food-pantries-run-muslim-women-initiative-close-funding-vanishes-demand-rises-article-1.988325#ixzz1gCgp7XdF
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« Reply #1 on: Dec 11, 2011 05:52 PM »

Assalamu Alaiykum,

Really sad to hear. It's true, when people hit on hard times themselves, the first thing people do is stop giving charity. It's very easy to fall in to that trap. However as Muslims, we should remember that if we give charity for the sake of Allah, our charity does not decrease our wealth, even what little we have. There is more reward for those who find it hard to give during those difficult times. We should always be striving for more.

Ma'Salam,

Cinders

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Al Qur'an (93:5)
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« Reply #2 on: Dec 22, 2011 12:42 AM »

A nice update to this story!!

I don't know of any Muslim organization that would snap open their checkbook and write a $100,000 check! This is what I call inter-faith co-operation!!

===============
Church group steps in to save Muslim food pantries

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A pair of Bronx food pantries in jeopardy of closing have gotten a reprieve in the form of a large donation.

The Muslim Women's Institute for Research and Development has been operating food pantries in Highbridge and Parkchester since 1997, but without $50,000, the organization would have had to shutter the pantries at the end of the month.

But Monday evening, executive director Nurah Ama'tulla received a check for $100,000. She says she is grateful and relieved that thousands of families in the Bronx won't have to go elsewhere for assistance.

The lifeline came from the Collegiate Church Corporation.

"We will cover the hurdle of the $50,000, and we're covered through operations of March 31, 2012," Ama'tulla said. "The first quarter."

The cash infusion comes just at the right time. The Collegiate Church Corporation issued a statement, saying: "The MWIRD has faithfully its constituency for more than a decade. As the only halal food pantry in the city, their services are vital. The Collegiate Church is honored to extend them a substantial grant so that their food pantry can remain open."

The pantries feed 2,500 people per week. In addition to paying for heat and other utilities, the organization's four employees will get paid for the first time since Memorial Day.
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