JACKSON HEIGHTS, NY -UNS — Assembly Member Catalina Cruz transformed the 73rd Street business corridor in Jackson Heights into a meal distribution site for the Muslim and South Asian communities for the month of Ramadan. The holy month of Ramadan is observed by 1.5 billion Muslims around the world and, during this month, Muslims refrain from eating and drinking between the hours of sunrise and sunset in remembrance of those who are less fortunate.
However, this year Ramadan has been exceptionally hard as millions have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic and food insecurity has sky-rocketed across the country. During the event, over a thousand freshly prepared vegetarian meals were distributed. Additionally, more than 250 families received bags with staple items such as lentils, rice, and oil; vegetables and fruits, including onions, potatoes, and apples; and hand sanitizers and disposable masks.
“The South Asian community, especially our Bengali neighbors, have suffered extraordinary loss throughout this crisis. They have lost their jobs. They have lost their loved ones. They’re struggling to put food on the table. This event allowed us to make a small dent to help our neighbors and their families rise above this crisis during their holy month. I am thankful to our partners and I look forward to continuing to support our Muslim families,” said Assembly Member Cruz.
The event was held outside Khabaar Baari Restaurant in partnership with World Sikh Parliament, the National Supermarket Association, Council of Peoples Organization, the Muslim Democratic Club of NY (MDCNY), Jackson Heights Bangladeshi Business Association, New American Voters Association (NAVA), and Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom.
Assembly Member Cruz began distributing prepared meals out of her office in Corona almost immediately after the Governor declared a state of emergency. She now serves over 2,000 meals a day, six days a week, to families in need.