By Najwa Kareem – Native Washingtonian born to Muslim convert parents
According to the United Nations:
- 795 million people (or 1 in 9 persons in the world) do not have enough food.
- 1 in 6 people face hunger in America.
- 66 million primary school-age children attend classes hungry across the developing world.
- 1 in 9 people worldwide do not have access to safe and clean drinking water.
The statistics are shocking.
Imagine my disappointment and frustration as, year after year, I observe Muslims wasting food and bottled water during Ramadan at the local mosques. After breaking their fast at Iftar, they leave behind copious amounts of food and drink to waste or to be thrown into the trash. Ironically, Ramadan is a month when we should strive to be more conscientious and empathetic of those who have nothing to eat or drink, as fasting allows us to feel what it is like to be hungry and thirsty. Conscientious Muslims, including myself, would like to see this distressing phenomenon come to an end. Here are some suggestions for remedying the waste of food and drink during Ramadan at the mosque:
- Do not take or put on your plate more food than needed.
- People manning the serving tables should serve only limited portions on plates, requesting people to return for more, if needed.
- Water bottles should be distributed by workers and volunteers, instead of being left out for people to take more than they really need.
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