For the past 18 years Sabeel Food Pantry has teamed up with grass-roots Chicago Muslims to bring turkeys to the families of the students at Chicago Public Schools on the south side of Chicago. Through the generous contributions of members of our community, we have successfully been able to give out thousands of turkeys to families who would otherwise not have them on their tables. Last year marked the 18 year anniversary of the drive and we were successful in distributing 5,000 turkeys to these families. This year we hope to reach that goal again and raise enough to provide 5,000 turkeys, but we'll need your help.
contribute to our cause and help us raise enough money to provide 5,000 turkeys to families in need this Thanksgiving
The cost of each turkey is only $17...Dr. Jihad Shoshara
The Turkey Drive began in 2001 when a Hyde Park-based activist by the name of Kamran Memon approached the staff of a nearby public school and asked, 'Do you think there would be a need for donated turkeys this Thanksgiving?'
The staff of McCosh Elementary (now Emmett Till Academy) in Jackson Park replied with an enthusiastic 'yes!' The neighborhood had seen its share of hard times over the years, with over 90% of its students below the federal poverty line according to Chicago Public School statistics. Memon then sought donations from friends and family and that year bought 188 turkeys from the local supermarket which the school distributed to its students.
From those humble beginnings, the Chicago Muslim Turkey Drive has become a cherished institution, having distributed thousands of free turkeys at Thanksgiving. Every year, Sabeel Food Pantry works with local coordinators to fundraise and purchase turkeys wholesale to give to needy families. From its humble beginnings in 2001 starting with 188 turkeys at one school, the Drive now distributes 5,000 turkeys annually at eight participating Chicago Public Schools on Chicago's South Side, as well as through the Inner-city Muslim Action Network (IMAN) in Marquette Park.
The cost of each turkey is only $17 - yet these turkeys often represent the only way many families can have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner during these tough times.
*Please make your tax-deductible donation today by clicking here*
Keep scrolling to view some recent press on the turkey drive, view our video about the drive and take a look at some pictues from past drives.
Principal Dr. Terea Peoples-Brown and Assistant Principal Mrs. Miriam Hill with Dr. Jihad Shoshara
Brothers Bilal Evans and Rafi Peterson (to the right) from IMAN in discussion before the turkeys arrive
Members of the Union Lodge #155 of the Free & Accepted Masons - partners in the Turkey Drive - helping to distribute turkeys to recipients
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