Sunday of Charity, Romemu Hosts @HungerVan for @ZeroHunger @ShareAmerica

Furthermore, humble submission is the root of service an the way by which a person can stop feeling superior. He will acknowledge that God alone is the Mater of All Creation, as David put it, “Yours, God, are greatness, might, splendor, triumph, and majesty – yes, all that is in heaven and on earth. —Duties of the Heart: The Gates of Dedication of Purpose, Humility, and Repentance, trans. by Avraham Yaakov Finkel

to see volunteers in action click here…..

IMG_3129October 26th, 2014. At 3:00 PM in the library-basement of Romemu, Institute for Jewish Spirituality, which is located at Central Park North on its very uppermost edge, six adults, not all of whom already know each other, gather around two large tables laden with groceries to talk about daily life, Hunger Van, and charity. Paul Shulman is the busy organizer of this Romemu event hosting Hunger Van, and this is not his first experience with Hunger Van. He has a full-time job as bookkeeper for Romemu, and is in the process of earning his Master’s Degree; and his younger sister Zena Shulman, marketing professional for the same Institution, also assists in the preparation of meals for the homeless.IMG_3140IMG_3138Alice (author of this blog) and Aletta, a young research exchange student from Frankfurt, Germany, who is spending a few months in New York City for purposes of studying Muslim socio-economics via interviews, are both from the morning’s event at Columbia University at which there were a considerable number of students. At the moment, there are no teenagers around the reading room’s tables, but plenty of gregariousness and friendly conversations about life. Also in attendance are: Betsy Imershein, Wendy Handler, Florence Kranitz, and Zamir Hassan, founder of Muslims Against Hunger, Faith Against Hunger, and Hunger Van. Most of the aforementioned volunteers reside in New York City.

IMG_3133IMG_3143During his address to Romemu’s volunteer group – and as he carefully phrases it, the conversation figures as the main part of the program – Zamir stated, “By default out of having an Ivy League school education and working for IT, you have a good life, the American Dream.” As a chaperone, Zamir in league with one of his friends fed over 200 people at a soup kitchen in Morristown, NJ, which is the precise moment his feeding the homeless endeavors got started. Mr. Hassan mentions how his mother, on Thursdays, which was a sort of start of shabat for them, made food at home for him to distribute outside. Growing up, he was always taught at home and through scripture, there is prayer and charity for a Muslim to take care of by way of duty. He sent out emails with the Muslims Against Hunger banner. “We reach out via a mobile soup kitchen, in at least twenty cities, including Toronto, Canada, to anyone in need. It is not about food; it is about engaging people.”IMG_3147IMG_3144IMG_3131
Paul continues with his own speech, “It’s not acceptable we have 49 million people who don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Everyone is made in the image of God, after all, and should have the same privileges.” He also announces an impending Hunger Van event on November 16th promoting solidarity between Jews and Muslims at Tompkins Square Park for anyone interested in coming. Zamir adds that there is a Hare Krishna program sponsored by a kitchen to which Zamir contributed at that very same park Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between 10:00 AM and 11 on Avenue A.

A percentage of the meals created by this Hunger Van program were subsequently distributed  by a small group of volunteers including Zamir Hassan at Tompkins Square Park in downtown Manhattan, the remainder of which was donated to a homeless shelter in Jersey.
to see volunteers in action click here…..

The Hunger Van was born in 2011 because MuslimsHunger van.Drive Against Hunger Against Hunger founder Zamir Hassan, a practicing Muslim and resident of Bedminster, New Jersey decided that if hungry people such as the ones congregating around parks and train stations, could not come to the food, the food would come to them in vans, conveniently packaged and ready to eat. The cost of producing one hot meal is $6.07 and $4.85 for cold ones; and meals as well as events are donation-based. Sponsors are encouraged to raise funds for the feeding event. All of the food is vegan and can last for a long period of time without spoiling. for more information about Hunger Van project click here

IMG_3137The author of this blog, Alice M. Baskous, is a New Jersey resident and Hunter College grad who works in and frequents Manhattan Island where she spends many of her hours studying French, walking around, and writing poetry as well as fiction. She does community service with the homeless as well as hungry locals of Tompkins Square Park in downtown New York City three times a week between 10 AM and 11, and also at other Hunger Van sponsored events.



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