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Islamic organization donates 9,000 pounds of food to Northern Diné COVID-19 Relief Effort

Hannah Grover
Farmington Daily Times
Volunteers unload water and other supplies, Monday, May 25, 2020, for the Northern Dine COVID-19 Relief Effort. These supplies were donated by ICNA Relief.

SHIPROCK — An Islamic group donated 9,000 pounds of food as well as other supplies to the Northern Diné COVID-19 Relief Effort on May 25. These supplies will be distributed in care packages to people who live in the northern area of the Navajo Nation, including in Shiprock.

The Islamic Circle of North America Relief has been working to address needs during the COVID-19 pandemic nationwide.

The Arizona chapter of ICNA Relief organized the food donation on May 25 and arrived with a semi-trailer full of donated goods in the evening.

“We want to make sure people have food, they don’t have to go hungry,” said Salina Imam, the director of the Arizona chapter.

Volunteers with the Arizona chapter of ICNA Relief move pallets of food, Monday, May 25, 2020, into a storage facility in Shiprock.

State Rep. Anthony Allison, D-Fruitland, said his colleague, Rep. Abbas Akhil, D-Albuquerque, reached out to him following a virtual town hall he participated in. Allison said Akhil’s wife, Habiba, reached out to groups like ICNA Relief and arranged for the donations. In addition to the 9,000 pounds of food, she arranged a donation of 30,000 bottles of water from another group the previous week.

The Northern Diné COVID-19 Relief Effort relies largely on donations and volunteers to distribute care packages to families in need.

“It’s amazing how much it’s grown,” said Kyle Jim, the chief volunteer coordinator.

Rep. Anthony Allison, D-Fruitland, Kyle Jim, Breanna Lameman and JoAnn Lameman stand in front of donated supplies in a storage location in Shiprock.

Jim’s mother, JoAnn Lameman, said the scale of the operation has increased over the past 11 weeks.

“I didn’t expect this to happen,” she said as the group began unloading the donated supplies. “It started small, from my garage.”

Volunteers stack boxes of food, Monday, May 25, 2020, in a storage facility in Shiprock.

Breanna Lameman said the group tailors the care packages to meet the needs of the families that receive them.

People wanting to help can call 505-226-3073 or 505-427-0084 or email northerndineagencyreliefteam@gmail.com.

Pallets of water await shipment May 25 in Shiprock, New Mexico as part of a food delivery drive.

More information about ICNA Relief is available at icnarelief.org.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.

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