Eid-Al-Adha holiday tradition benefits local soup kitchen
By DEBORAH ANN TRIPOLDI
Toni’s Kitchen in Montclair was the benefit of 150 pounds of meat recently donated by Peace Islands Institute. The annual donation is in celebration of the Muslim festival of Eid-al-Adha, which took place Aug. 21 to 24.
Eid-Al-Adha, known as the “Feast of Sacrifice,” is one of the two holiest days in the Islamic calendar. The other is Eid al-Fitr, “festival of breaking the fast.”
Eid-al-Adha honors the story of the prophet Ibrahim in the Quran - Surah (chapter) 37. The islamic festival acknowledges Ibrahim’s willingness to follow Allah’s orders to sacrifice his son. At the last minute Allah replaced his son with a lamb. Of the animals sacrificed during Eid-al-Adha, usually one-third is given to the poor.
Peace Islands Institute is a nonprofit advocating “unity, education, welfare, and progress” and interfaith dialogue based in Hasbrouck Heights.
Mel Turk, program coordinator of the institute, said they have been doing the annual donation of meat for the last four years. According to Turk, they surpassed last year’s donation of about 75 pounds of meat. This year both Toni’s Kitchen and St. Peter’s Haven in Clifton received 150 pounds each consisting of 50 pounds of ground beef and 100 pounds of diced beef.
“We just help out those who are in need,” said Turk.
Osman Gunes of Peace Islands Institute and Assemblyman Thomas P. Giblin of Legislative District 34 made the presentation of meat at Toni’s Kitchen and St. Peter’s Haven in Clifton, according to a Toni’s Kitchen press release.
“This has been a tradition for several years and it’s been a lovely donation of beautiful meats that’s donated as part of their holiday giving,” said Toni’s Kitchen Director of Outreach Anne Merin.
Mernin and The Rev. John Mennel of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church accepted the donation.
“I love that it is part of the holiday celebration; that they are thinking of those in need. We will be using both at the soup kitchens, after school program and with the senior groups,” she said.
Toni’s Kitchen serves hot meals at 11:30 a.m. to the needy on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and at 5 p.m. on Sundays at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.
Read more on how to help at Toni's Kitchen - Volunteer Spotlight.