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THURSDAY, June 13 — Local activists and elected leaders are “fed up” with hunger in Greater Lansing.
That was the theme, anyway, of this year’s 13th annual Mayor’s Ramadan Unity Dinner, hosted yesterday evening by Lansing Mayor Andy Schor and East Lansing Mayor Mark Meadows at the Lansing Center. In the last decade, the charitable event has collected over $100,000 in donations for the Greater Lansing Food Bank.
“It’s a chance to talk about hunger,” Schor said. “It says a lot about our community. It says we get together. We celebrate diverse cultures and diverse religions and we contribute to those who don’t have everything we have.”
The annual celebration is designed to bring awareness to the plight of the hungry in Greater Lansing and to promote a better understanding of how local residents can make an impact. It was also an opportunity to celebrate diversity and embrace the Islamic community after the holy month of Ramadan that ended June 4.
Ramadan is a time of deep, spiritual reflection and prayer. During Ramadan, All Muslims feel the pains of the hungry by abstaining from food and drink from dawn until sunset. This pillar of Islam allows Muslims to become closer to God by becoming more grateful for the blessings they’ve been given.
“While we celebrate diversity, we also rededicate ourselves to ending hunger,” Meadows added.
So how can Greater Lansing help the hungry? First: Raise awareness of the problem. Donate to the Greater Lansing Food Bank, Schor said. Get involved with the newly launched Serve Lansing project. Volunteer time for any of the dozens of community organizations already working to curb the issue. Opportunities are endless.
Wednesday’s event also included authentic, Middle Eastern food and speeches from State Rep. Abdullah Hammoud, D-Dearborn, and Dr. Farhan Bhatti of Care Free Medical in Lansing. Wednesday’s ceremony saw an audience of more than 400 people, with all ticket sales donated directly to the Greater Lansing Food Bank.
“We renew our opposition to discrimination, our support to diversity and our dedication that no person, no family, no one should ever go hungry in the wealthiest and most powerful nation on earth,” Meadows added.
Visit greaterlansingfoodbank.org for more information about donations or volunteer opportunities in Lansing.