Muslim farmer donates produce to NY kosher soup kitchen

A Muslim organic farmer from upstate New York made an emergency donation of vegetables to a kosher soup kitchen in Brooklyn.

Zaid Kurdieh, who with his wife, Haifa, owns and farms at Norwich Meadows Farm, on Friday delivered 800 pounds of high-end organic carrots to Masbia, a network of kosher soup kitchens that provides meals to hundreds of hungry New Yorkers each week in Brooklyn and Queens. He also pledged to give more in the future.

Kurdieh’s donation came after the soup kitchen’s shortage of donated food was featured in a local ABC news report.

Masbia Executive Director Alexander Rapaport told ABC7 that the soup kitchen needs some 30,000 pounds of food a week to satisfy demand, and that last week it had only 15,000 pounds to distribute.

The Kurdiehs are devout Muslims who practice faith-based farming.

Jewish organizations to deliver 20,000 pounds of food to Oklahoma

In the wake of the disastrous tornado in Oklahoma, The National Council of Young Israel has joined with the Masbia organizations, as well as with Agri Star Meat & Poultry LLC to provide 20,000 pounds of foods for the relief effort. 

The Jewish Journal previously reported that the Chabad Community Center of Southern Oklahoma was taking in those whose homes were ruined in the tornado, and that subsequent to the disaster many Jewish organizations were collection donations for victims. Yet, this is the largest Jewish effort so far.

[Relief effort: How you can help]

Masbia, a New York based network of soup kitchens regularly serves meals to those without food, and in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, fed over 3,000 people. For Oklahoma, Masbia decided to raise the requisite funds for the shipping of the food from Agri Star Meat & Poultry. Once NCYI learned of the joint efforts of Masbia and Agri Star Meat & Poultry, it began to help raise the money for delivery. Previously, NCYI worked with Masbia after Hurricane Sandy. Agri Star has a facillity in Postville, Iowa where the food will be shipped initially, and then from there to Oklahoma.

“Food is most essential to victims of disaster,” said Alexander Rappaport, the founder of Masbia. “Food cannot bring back any loses, but it helps them keep it together. We found during our on the ground Sandy relief work, the victims need food, the first-responders need food, the volunteers need food. You never can forget the smile on their faces when you arrive with food.”