Community group distributes over one-thousand meals since start of May

Avleen K Mokha

Residents of Park Extension have joined in a group effort to give meals to residents in need. The effort, led by Abdul Waheed, began in May as Muslims began fasting for Ramadan. On Saturday June 20, the group reached the milestone of having given away more than 1000 meals to residents.

The effort started with the distribution of 50 meals. Demand has only gone up, and the group has kept up. This past weekend, the group gave away 165 meals – triple its initial count.

Nearly a dozen Park Extension residents volunteered on Saturday to deliver food. Additionally, Waheed received help from Sandi Ponente in collecting meal requests.

More recently, the group has made an effort to also give away face coverings. Initially, Waheed’s partner sewed a hundred masks for distribution. This Saturday, the group received a donation of 180 masks from Giuliana Fumagalli, the Mayor of Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension.

Funding for the effort comes from other Park Extension residents, some of whom also volunteer at the food drive.

Meals, which include vegetarian and halal options, are ready to serve. Waheed says Javed Rana, the owner of Sana Restaurant, gave the group a competitive price as the initiative gained momentum.

The group takes requests for meals without any conditions or requirements. Residents can also refer others in the community.

Moving forward, Waheed plans to continue with the weekly food drive if donations and requests continue.

Another distribution will take place this Saturday, June 27. The group is sharing a poster on social media to get the word out.

Related images:

Group of volunteers led by Abdul Waheed (who stands third from the left) at the distribution on June 20. To Waheed’s left stand restaurant owner Javed Rana and VSP Mayor Giuliana Fumagalli.
Javed Rana, owner of Sana restaurant, in front of ready to serve meals on June 20.
Left to right: Abdul Waheed, Amy Miller, MNA Andres Fontecilla, and VSP Mayor Giuliana Fumagalli. Photos: Abdul Waheed