‘Community engagement’ two words that come to mind when the ‘Halal Food Bank’ is mentioned. An initiative of the Ansaar Project, the Halal Food Bank aims to improve the wellbeing of individuals and families doing it tough. Sadly, there are a number of Muslims – individuals and families, affected by economic uncertainties. As a result, food shortages occur at home.
The Halal Food Bank aims to serve these members of the community as an expression of the Prophetic example; providing them with nutritionally balanced food packs to cater for their needs. We aim to spread this example by engaging the wider community to donate non-perishable food items to the project. Through their generosity, we are able to pack hundreds of boxes across Australia each month.
Coordination of such efforts on a sustained basis require dedicated people. And while we continue to thank everyone who continues to support the Halal Food Bank, we’d like to recognise our very own Raqeeba for her selfless efforts.
At the heart of the Halal Food Bank Melbourne is Sister Raqeeba. She began her role as project coordinator some two years ago with a long list of questions and an eagerness to refine processes and ensure this initiative makes a real difference in our community. It is this enthusiasm and drive that has seen the Halal Food Bank in Melbourne grow to what it is today, packing more boxes than ever and reaching out to even more communities.
In recognition and respect of the long and hard hours Raqeeba has spent, she has been awarded the 2014 Community Service Category and Overall Winner of the Father Bob Maguire Foundation, Angels of the Streets Awards.
While the ceremony may have gone unnoticed by many on a lazy Sunday afternoon, those who know what is behind those neatly packaged boxes would agree that Raqeeba is a deserved winner. The endless hours driving around Melbourne to pick up donations, call-outs to volunteers, building outreach and initiatives to serve even more, accounting, planning… and the list goes on.
It is the hard work of invaluable and selfless volunteers such as Raqeeba that our community is afforded grow into a vibrant and engaging culture. On behalf of SeekersPoint Melbourne, we would like to say: ‘Thank you Aunty Raqeeba.’ You are a real asset to the team and Melbourne, and we pray for your success in both worlds.
Written by Jourdan Sungkar – SeekersPoint Melbourne