Our Place Newark Project Update and
I hope this finds you in the best of health and highest of Iman.
I am reaching out to you because you have always been a strong supporter of Muslims Against Hunger and I value your support. Alhumdulillah, through your contributions last year, Muslims Against Hunger fed over 50,000 people in need across North America, Haiti and Pakistan. We also mobilized over 3,000 young volunteers to help feed those in need. We launched new feeding programs in Basking Ridge, Union City, Paterson and the Greater Newark area ( i.e. Irvington, East Orange and Newark Penn Station).
We sponsored a summer camp 30 day feeding program for over 1,000 children in Haiti along with our US partners and also funded clean water projects at 4 schools in Haiti.
In rural Pakistan, our sister organization “Hamara Ghar Pakistan” launched a School Lunch program that is feeding over 1,000 meals to children on school days.
In addition we have been running a “Day Time Drop in Shelter for Homeless – Known as Our Place Morristown” which has been servicing around 15,000 visits by homeless every year with various social services including daily breakfast.
I am very grateful for your support because none of this could have been accomplished without your support!
As you know, in year 2010, at the urging of a few community members, I had taken on the Our Place Newark project to set up a location in Newark where we could provide a variety of services to those in need. These community members had pledged to help fund the project. However since then, they have abandoned their commitment and support to raise funds for this project over ideological differences and vision of MAH. While this deeply saddened us, we believe this experience has strengthened Muslims Against Hunger because we have articulated a vision that is shared by our supporters, a Vision “To BE a MUSLIMS SPEARHEADED, ALL FAITHS INCLUSIVE, leading community-based movement that addresses hunger, poverty and homelessness issues globally.”
We look forward to achieving this vision with your help and ongoing support.
Since that experience, We had to re-evaluate the Our Place-Newark Project. It would take approximately $2 million to get the Newark facility to be operational with all the projected service goals. So rather than raise and invest $2 million in bricks and mortar, Our Board and all other stakeholder believe that Muslims Against Hunger should remain focused on services and DIVEST from the Newark project.
Therefore, last year on 9/11, we launched our HUNGER VAN Project – a Social Action Center on wheels.(for details of the project please visit www.hungervan.org ) This project allows community members to host a Hunger Van event, known as HUNGER RUN at their homes, office, faith institutions, schools, where 100 to 300 meals are prepared and loaded into the HUNGER VAN. These meals are then taken to the homeless where the homeless are instead of where services exist. All the funds collected for the Our Place-Newark project will go directly towards supporting the Hunger Van's services in the Newark area also, as promised to our donors.
While I was misguided by a few former supporters and community members to take on the Our Place-Newark project, I realized, I too was at fault, because I should have never taken on the project until all the necessary funds to get the project to be operational were in place. This experience was a learning curve for me and this mistake was one I had to make in order to learn, grow and strengthen Muslims Against Hunger Project.
Our vision for the next 2 years is to have 3 Hunger Vans running from New Jersey, Boston and Washington DC to cover all north east and bring the project to other part of North America. Also, set up a free Mobile Health Clinic in the HUNGER VAN to provide essential healthcare services to the homeless and needy. Additionally, we want to expand our services via the HUNGER VAN to Paterson, Trenton, Philadelphia, Camden, Brooklyn, Queens, Washington DC, Baltimore, Boston, Springfield–MA, Portland, Maine, Chicago, Syracuse-NY, Birmingham-NY, Westchester-NY and a 2nd location in Toronto Canada.
InshaAllah, we can achieve this and much more through the grace of God and your continued support.
Last year, we had tremendous impact but in coming years, we plan to have much more.
Thank you for your continued support of Muslims Against Hunger Project and sharing our vision to help those in need around us. Not only are we fulfilling our obligations to God by engaging in these projects but we are changing the perceptions of Islam and Muslims in North America every day. May Allah reward you and your family for your good intentions and good deeds.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.