During the holy month of Ramadan, many Muslims around the world offer help to others as do volunteers in the Canadians cities of Ottawa, Quebec and Montreal. In 2021, Ramadan occurs between April 12 and May 12 and the International Development and Relief Foundation has organized volunteers and charities to provide needy people of all faiths with hygiene kits, hot meals and emergency food boxes.
The foundation’s Eduardo Alves Dos Anjos notes that “Ramadan is a time for Muslims to give back, build bridges and make a difference for people of all faiths and backgrounds.”
Pandemic has increased needs
As part of this year’s activities a volunteer team worked with a local charity to prepare and distribute hygiene kits to people without homes in Montreal. A team distributed 576 boxes of food to low-income families in three cities with the help of local charities and mosques. Each box contained 10 kg of non-perishable food estimated to meet the needs of a family for up to a month. The foundation notes that food insecurity has been an ongoing issue for years and it has been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Volunteers also teamed up with an Afghan restaurant and an Indigenous support group to distribute hot meals to people without housing in Montreal.
“There are many people in our communities who need help, especially given the hardships caused by the pandemic,” said Dos Anjos. “Ramadan is a traditional time in the Muslim calendar for giving, and we are grateful for the opportunity to do our part along with others.”
According to 2017 figures, more than one million people in Canada identified themselves as Muslim, representing 3.2% of the nation’s total population.