Opinion: Islamic Society of Central Jersey appreciates support for Thanksgiving, biweekly food drives

On Nov. 20, the Islamic Society of Central Jersey (ISCJ) conducted its biweekly drive-thru food pantry; however, on this particular Saturday, preparations were made for a special occasion: Thanksgiving.

In line with the Thanksgiving theme, the pantry provided turkeys, canned fruits/vegetables, stuffing/mashed potatoes, bread, milk, pasta and rice, as well as many other essential foods.

Approximately 130 turkeys and notes with “Happy Thanksgiving” wishes were distributed with these essential foods in large boxes.

Volunteers from our diverse community worked together as a team to help prepare the boxes and load them in the cars of patrons.

The pandemic brought upon unimaginable difficulties for many people within our community. Many of our patrons expressed difficulties as a consequence of the pandemic such as unemployment, reduced work hours and expenses. In response, the ISCJ food pantry has been distributing essential foods every Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. throughout the duration of the pandemic, and averages around 100 boxes every week.

The ISCJ recognizes the importance of food security and diet quality and thus has carefully selected our donation items based on their nutritious value.

Our patrons have consistently expressed gratitude for the local masjid’s efforts and greatly appreciate the donations.

The ISCJ plans to continue the food pantry as long as there’s a sustained need. ISCJ’s food pantry initiative allowed us to establish long-term relationships with people within and outside our community. Many of our patrons are responsible for delivering food to families throughout the State of New Jersey. We are grateful that the ISCJ’s outreach provided necessary aid and assistance for these families.

The ISCJ wants to thank the community for their continued support and generous donations for this worthy cause. We are very grateful for the cooperation between township partners such as the South Brunswick Food Pantry and the South Brunswick police on this initiative and appreciate their invaluable help.

If there is anyone who needs assistance, or would like to donate to the ISCJ food pantry, contact us at foodpantry@iscj.org

Roshan Shaik

ISCJ Member

South Brunswick