By Badees Nouiouat
July 7, 2020
Today marks the first day of a new partnership between the Irving Masjid Food Pantry and the North Texas Food Bank.
More than 400 boxes were distributed at ICI this morning to over 200 families from the local community.
The event had a large turnout, shown by the fact that the boxes of dried and packaged goods ran out an hour before the event was scheduled to end.
Organizers Kamal Hassan and Ahnaf Ahsan plan to prepare for more families in what they hope will become a monthly event.
“I think our community can be a big help to the Irving community as a whole. We have many volunteers, a big facility, and strong connections with the city leadership,” Kamal said.
The National Guard were an integral part of the operation. They moved quickly and efficiently and made sure to control the flow of traffic so cars were not causing backups on Esters Road. Using cones, they created a path that serpentined through the ICI parking lot.
“I think there’s a lot we can learn from how organized the National Guard were. They had a plan and knew exactly how it was gonna go,” said Ahnaf, who recently became outreach coordinator at ICI at only 19 years old. “We have many volunteers in our community, but we need to be more disciplined and organized so that our events can go smoothly like today.”
Mayor Rick Stopfer was also in attendance. It was he who originally facilitated this partnership after Shaykh Saeed Purcell reached out to him.
“When we reached out to the NTFB they said we were one of the few people doing this, which we didn’t know when we originally started this effort,” Shaykh Saeed said. NTFB also plans to help stock the ICI food pantry to help sustain the important work they are doing.
ICI Outreach is always open to volunteers and donors to support this effort. Reach out to them at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Community members who who could use some assistance can email outreach with your full name, address, phone number, and number of people in your household. Volunteers will pack dry goods including rice, canned vegetables, sugar, cereal, oil, pasta, and flour, and will deliver to your door for free.