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Church group steps in to save Muslim food pantries

December 20, 2011 10:00:12 AM PST
A pair of Bronx food pantries in jeopardy of closing have gotten a reprieve in the form of a large donation.

The Muslim Women's Institute for Research and Development has been operating food pantries in Highbridge and Parkchester since 1997, but without $50,000, the organization would have had to shutter the pantries at the end of the month.

But Monday evening, executive director Nurah Ama'tulla received a check for $100,000. She says she is grateful and relieved that thousands of families in the Bronx won't have to go elsewhere for assistance.

The lifeline came from the Collegiate Church Corporation.

"We will cover the hurdle of the $50,000, and we're covered through operations of March 31, 2012," Ama'tulla said. "The first quarter."

The cash infusion comes just at the right time. The Collegiate Church Corporation issued a statement, saying: "The MWIRD has faithfully its constituency for more than a decade. As the only halal food pantry in the city, their services are vital. The Collegiate Church is honored to extend them a substantial grant so that their food pantry can remain open."

The pantries feed 2,500 people per week. In addition to paying for heat and other utilities, the organization's four employees will get paid for the first time since Memorial Day.

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