Sabeel Food Pantry celebrating a successful year organized a luncheon for its volunteers on Sunday, December 5, 2004 at its center at 3031 West Belmont Ave., Chicago, IL 60618.

The Director of the Pantry Mr. Quadir Latifi commenced the program with an overview of its inception a year ago in October 2003. “A year later, the operations of the Sabeel Pantry have come a long way.” Mr. Latifi owed the success of the Sabeel Pantry to the hard work of the volunteers who not only dedicated their time and efforts but also worked at grass root level to enlighten various communities in the Chicago land area. He talked about the first day of the Pantry when very few people visited to get food and he said “Marvelously, after a year the Sabeel Pantry serves hundreds of families every month in the Chicago land area.” He also expressed his gratitude to all individuals, businesses and the schools for their contributions to the Pantry by donating cash, and food. He mentioned that the MCC Full Time School in Morton Grove, IL, Averros Academy in North Brook, IL, Muslim Society Inc. Sunday School in Glendale Heights, IL and Muslim Community Center of Chicago, IL conducted food drives during this Ramadan and donated hundreds of pounds of food to the pantry. He was thankful to the Panera Bread for their regular donation of the bread. He also thanked Kazi Publications to lend the use of their activity room to operate Sabeel Food Pantry.

Mr. Bashir Raza, the Manager of the Pantry gave a report on the daily operations of the Pantry. Pantry is opened Mondays and Thursdays from 10AM to 1PM. Individuals and families pick up food from the Pantry. Volunteers come and pick up Sabeel Packages and take to their communities for distribution.

Dr. Chaudry, President of the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council (IFANCA), the sponsor of the Sabeel Pantry Project, briefed the background and the purpose of the Sabeel Pantry project. “The pantry’s mission is to reach out to the individuals and families who happened to be less fortunate irrespective of their religion, ethnic background or gender.” Dr. Chaudry mentioned that the Pantry’s operation would soon be expanded into different cities of the United States. He also reiterated that all donations received would be spent in the USA. IFANCA has provided seed money to start the project and will provide the bulk of management expenses.

Dr. Ejaz Rahim gave awards to the volunteers and donors. Sr. Aisha Faryal, a volunteer from Glen Ellyn, IL thanked the management of the Sabeel Pantry on behalf of all the volunteers, recipients and gave few valuable suggestions to improve the distribution of food among the needy families.

The conclusion of the program was an open house and a delectable lunch. Chopal Restaurant, Mrs. Tasneem Raza, Rimland Services NSP, and others donated the lunch items.

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