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Concordia community feeds the homeless

by Hamza Khan February 2, 2017
Concordia community feeds the homeless

Participants contribute to Multi-faith Day of Action, helping the homeless in our community

Concordia students and staff participated in a Multi-Faith Day of Action on Jan. 31, where members of the community helped feed the homeless at the Multi-faith & Spirituality Centre.

Since January 2016, a small group of students from various ethnic, religious and spiritual backgrounds has met at least once a month at the centre with the goal of working together for a good cause.

The group of 16 was led and organized by Interfaith facilitator Laura Gallo and composed mostly of women.

“You get to try out something new and you get to help people who need help,“ said Wameed Iqbal, a first-time volunteer and graduate student from New Delhi, India studying mechanical engineering at Concordia. “Right now, with the situation around the world, we need more understanding between peoples.”

The participants joined together to chop vegetables and make sandwiches using fresh and nutritious ingredients and put them into lunch bags to distribute to the homeless. Granola bars, juice, biscuits and bananas were among the snacks included in the roughly 80 lunch bags. Considerations for those with vegetarian and vegan diets were mentioned, the more experienced participants but homeless people have said they prefer sandwiches with meat, said Gallo. For this event, tuna or chicken bologna sandwiches were offered.

Once the lunch bags were ready, the participants split into two groups. They took to the streets and delivered the food directly into the hands of homeless community. Major points of distribution included downtown metro stations such as Atwater, Berri-UQAM and Place-des-Arts.

Concordia community members feed the homeless for Multi-Faith Day of Action. Photo by Mishkat Hafiz

Concordia community members feed the homeless for Multi-Faith Day of Action. Photo by Mishkat Hafiz

“I really enjoy the look on people’s faces,” said Andrea Lopez, a second-year human relations student at Concordia and a previous participant in these events. “They were so thankful when we went to them and told them, ‘I have a lunch bag for you.’ That’s what I personally enjoy.”

“It encourages students to do more volunteering activities such as this one,” said Lopez. “You have people with different philosophies and different perspectives, and yet they’re all getting together—it’s just beautiful.”

According to Gallo, the Multi-Faith Days of Action have always been successful, with good conversation and sharing of experiences and beliefs amongst the multi-cultural and multi-spiritual participants.

For more information on the Multi-Faith and Spirituality Centre’s next day of action or other events, check out their Facebook page or drop by the centre at 2090 Mackay St., across the street from the Hall building. All are welcome.

Watch our footage of Concordia’s Multi-Faith Day of Action below:

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