ramadan-sedekahToronto, 26 Sha’ban 1436/13 June 2015 (MINA) – Canadian Muslims have launched a campaign across the country to feed the hungry during the holy fasting month of Ramadan, due to begin Thursday, June 18, in North America.

“Brown bag your lunch for the month or tally up 30 days of coffee money,” says Give 30 founder Ziyaad Mia. “Whatever it is, it can make a difference in the lives of those who don’t have enough to eat,” OnIslam quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA).

Give 30 is designed to motivate people fasting in Ramadan to donate the money they save by skipping meals over the month.

People who aren’t fasting can also take part, says Give 30 founder Ziyaad Mia, noting that donations have come from people of all faiths and backgrounds.

Founded in 2012, Give 30 has become a national campaign with eleven partner food banks in six provinces.

The initiative has raised almost $250,000 to fight hunger over the past three campaigns.

“This is a grassroots movement that’s catching on across Canada,” says Mia.

Ramadan takes place from June 18 – July 16, 2015. The 2015 campaign runs until September 11.

In Ramadan, adult Muslims, save the sick and those traveling, abstain from food, drink, s and marital relations between dawn and sunset.

Muslims dedicate their time during the holy month to be closer to Allah through prayers, self-restraint and good deeds.

It is customary for Muslims to spend part of the days during Ramadan studying the Noble Qur’an.

The Toronto lawyer and social activist attributes the success of the campaign to the simplicity of the idea and the power of social media.

“Despite prosperity in our city, hunger continues to be a challenge for some of our neighbours,” says Toronto’s Daily bread Food bank in a news release. “Last year, Daily Bread received over 700,000 client visits and a third of those visits were children.”

“Together we can build a better city and a better society where everyone is afforded dignity, respect and compassion,” says Daily bread Food Bank.  “However, that requires each of us to lead by example.”

“The campaign’s timing couldn’t be better,” says North York Harvest Food Bank. “Give 30 runs at a crucial point for food banks like North York Harvest, as food and fund donations generally hit yearly lows during the summertime. Even a small donation of $20 would be enough to feed 4 children at a youth shelter for an entire month.”

Ramadan is about giving, building community, and understanding the challenges of hunger, says Mia.

“Everyone can participate in the spirit of Ramadan,” Mia emphasizes. “Hunger knows no race, religion, ethnicity or creed and that’s why it’s important for everyone to join Give 30.”

Give 30 runs in Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary, Quebec, Mississauga, Ottawa, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Regina and Kingston.

Muslims are the fastest growing religious community in Canada, according to the country’s statistical agency, Statistics Canada.

Canada’s Muslim population increased by 82 percent over the past decade – from about 579,000 in 2001 to more than 1 million in 2011.(T/R04/R03)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)