Providing Halal meat for Muslim foster children in Grand Rapids

Stories of Impact

Our Halal Meat program started as a result of our ongoing connection with foster families caring for Muslim youth. We are always trying to find solutions to various challenges families face in their efforts to provide loving homes to Muslim youth. Many Muslim youth come from background where they faced a lot of hunger and food insecurity. As such, lack of access to halal meat can become a source of distress for them. Our aim is to reduce this stress and support the families.

How it started

MFCA runs many different networking groups for families that care for Muslim youth. We strive to remain in touch with each and every family, hold regular virtual meetings with them, listen to their concerns, answer their questions and provide them with support and solutions. During these interactions, we identified that many Muslim youth in Grand Rapids did not have access to Halal and Dhabiha meat because of reasons such as price or availability.

To counter this problem, MFCA partnered with local Halal meat shops to launch our MFCA Supplemental Halal Meat Program. We provide a curated package of meat items such as seasoned meat, kebabs and other culturally appropriate foods that Muslim youth may enjoy, be able to prepare easily and that would be easy on the family’s budget.

The package is meant to supplement the existing resources and not replace them. Foster families are meant to take care of the child’s needs and provide them with Halal meat, however we understand the challenges they face and this program helps them to transition. It also allows them an opportunity to understand their Muslim foster children’s food needs better.

How it’s going

To date, we have 7 families in the Grand Rapids region that have applied for and received Halal Meat packages. These packages consist of 10 pounds of meat for every child every week. We have partnered with Green Market store to provide this service which has been welcomed by all the families that have received it.

Testimonial from Family:

“Hello! I was totally meaning to connect again and share our picture and say thank you! The meat has been seriously such a great resource to have! It has made meals so easy especially since it’s already pre-prepared and in the right portion for the four of us to enjoy together. The boys also loved the fresh cilantro and being able to add that to the chicken and beef. It was absolutely wonderful to have such a caring gift. I think we all felt loved and cared for. Thank you!”

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