In response to the growing need for emergency food supplies in the wake of COVID-19, the Muslim Educational Trust (MET) distributed over $225,000 worth of food to Metro-area families of all faiths — Muslims, Christians, Jews and others. More than 7,500 families were served through this program, with each emergency food box helping to feed a family of five for more than a month.
Many low-income families throughout our communities — especially immigrants and refugees — have been inordinately impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. This was due largely in part to massive layoffs in the service sector, including hotels, restaurants, retail and rideshares, to name a few. These layoffs have resulted in many families losing their primary source of income. MET started the emergency food box drive to try and give families some peace of mind in these most challenging times.
During these uncertain times, MET has joined other communities in coming together in new and inspiring ways. MET believes that through positive and compassionate leadership, the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic can be addressed and that the bonds of community can be made stronger than ever.
“When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, MET knew it had to act and we did by successfully implementing our Emergency Food Box Response project that reached out to all parts of the Portland Metro area. We realized just how many layers of systemic issues the underserved and vulnerable in our society face,” Wajdi Said, President and Co-Founder of MET shared. “In difficult times with many different challenges facing our community and our country, in partnership and collaboration with forward-thinking and responsive organizations such as Oregon Food Bank, Sunshine Division, Reser’s Fine Foods, and the Church of Latter-Day Saint to name a few, MET continued its mission towards addressing the social determinants of health in all its aspects and healing and unifying our human community.”
The issues surrounding the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on society have existed for centuries, and they have been greatly exacerbated. At a time when we’ve seen the system laid bare with all its inadequacies, partnership with organizations like the Muslim Educational Trust have helped to respond to the needs of our community. As of April 9th, MET’s Emergency Food Box program continues to uplift, heal and serve vulnerable communities citywide.