NYC Mayor de Blasio: Increase in free Halal meals for anyone who needs one during Ramadan

NYC Mayor de Blasio: Increase in free Halal meals for anyone who needs one during Ramadan

Mayor Bill de Blasio holds a media availability. City Hall. Thursday, April 23, 2020. Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.

Mayor Bill de Blasio would reach out to New York City’s Muslim Communities today during his daily COVID-19 Response Press Briefing. Both he and Food Czar Kathryn Garcia announced a 25% increase in the supply of halal meals during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The greater availability of meals (amounting to a total of 500,000 after the increase) would begin today and be available at the city’s 32 Department of Education Grab & Go sites found across the city’s five boroughs. Halal meals would also continue to be provided at all other sites.

Mayor de Blasio: “For those who need Halal meals, there will be 400,000 Halal meals available at 32 specific Department of Education sites, remember overall we have 435 sites and I’ll keep reminding people, anyone that needs food, whether it’s to go to one of those DOE sites or home deliveries, whatever you need, call 3-1-1 or go to nyc.gov/getfood.”

“And now we find ourselves once again about to celebrate a profoundly important holiday of one of our major faiths. So, tonight marks the start of Ramadan and there’s hundreds of thousands of Muslim New Yorkers who for this moment, this is the most important time of the year. And I want to say to all of our Muslim brothers and sisters, you’ve been going through so much as we all have and not able to worship and not able to do the things that you’re used to doing as part of your faith, but you shown strength as all New Yorkers have and you’ve joined with everyone else and fighting back this disease. One of Ramadan’s most noble callings is to feed the hungry. It’s a crucial part of how the holiday is celebrated to remember to be there for those in need and that is now harder than ever, obviously, people can’t go to their mosques. In fact, mosques have often been a place that those who were hungry, those who were poor would know they could go during Ramadan to break the fast. They knew there would always be a meal there for them that’s not going to be true in this season. So we want to, the City of New York wants to support this community as we’re supporting all communities. We’ve been making sure there’s food for every New Yorker and we’ve tried to also make sure that for those with a special food needs that we could be responsive. So, we’ve been creating kosher food programs and Halal food programs to recognize that we’re all in this together, we want to respect all the people, all the faiths of New York City. This is part of what makes New York City so great, that we have that mutual respect and we understand that we all come together to create something greater than the sum of the parts.”

The Mayor has now pledged for weeks that he would not let any New Yorker go hungry, period. He and the Food Czar worked to make sure there was a system in place that would assure nutrition to all who needed it.

He’s stated how at least 500,000 New Yorker have lost their livelihood and how more and more people would find themselves without the means to feed themselves. “Worrying where their next meal would come from.”

Through his efforts and that of the Ms. Garcia, three meals a day are provided absolutely free. For those unable to get out to get these meals, delivery is an option for seniors and others.