The fatal combination of high living costs and loss of livelihood has placed Californians in a particularly precarious financial situation, threatening their access to the most basic and essential resources such as food.
The pandemic has exacerbated existing crises all around the world. In the United States, nowhere is this truer than in California, a state which on its own accounts for more than half of the people experiencing homelessness nationwide. Monthly rent is 50% higher than the national average and the pandemic has put more than 1 million people out of a job.
In recognizing the rising threat of food insecurity, one Who is Hussain team has committed themselves to easing the burden for fellow residents of the Bay Area.
Their recent initiative was organized with the support of community partners, including Oakland Youth Aspire, a non-profit organization that supports and uplifts youth and their families through social-emotional learning and community service initiatives, the Islamic Center of Zahra, and Islamic and Cultural Center for Northern California. With their help, our Who is Hussain volunteers purchased 2,000 food items and delivered them to Oakland on January 30th.
At De Fremery Park, the team assembled 300 food packages. Each package, along with essential groceries, included a reusable cotton face mask and card for the recipient.
Zainab Hussain, Who is Hussain Bay Area team leader, expressed that she was worried about volunteer turnout considering the pandemic, but her concerns were quickly dispelled,“It was inspiring to see such a diverse group, with people of different ethnicities, ages, faiths, and from different locations across the Bay Area all coming together to help those in need regardless of the potential risk.”
Volunteers drove around Oakland to deliver the free groceries to fellow community members who may have fallen on hard times. It is easy to forget that those at the forefront of relief efforts are not immune to the struggles of surviving and working through the pandemic.
Hussain spoke to the challenge of mobilizing amidst these difficult circumstances, saying, “I am extremely proud of the team because they never gave up. Most of us brought our families to help as well, and we all made personal sacrifices to be able to see this event through to the end. Being part of a grassroots organization requires deep commitment and lots of hard work. This team motivates and inspires me to keep going, no matter how challenging the road ahead may seem.”
Inspired by the example set by Hussain 1400 years ago, our Bay Area team’s leadership is a testament to the endurance of the human spirit.
“Being part of the Who is Hussain family is a lifestyle. While it can be challenging, it is also very fulfilling and rewarding because we know that the work we do matters, and that each person we help matters.”