Mohamad Fakih and Ali Asaria launch the Sadaqa Project


TORONTO — Mohamad Fakih, founder and CEO of Paramount Fine Foods, and Ali Asaria, CEO of the Tulip Foundation announced their Sadaqa Project last week, a new partnership intended to address food insecurity among the most in-need populations.

Sadaqa is an Arabic word meaning benevolence or charity. More than that, its meaning is filled with additional considerations and sentiment of goodwill, kindness and generosity to others.

“We’re committed to feeding thousands of people in need from all backgrounds during Ramadan, a traditional time in the Muslim calendar for giving. We know there is a tremendous need out there in these difficult times, and we want to help people by providing them with a delicious hot meal,” says Fakih.

“Food security is one of the top priorities of the Tulip Foundation,” says Asaria. “We should not accept that in a prosperous country such as Canada, so many do not have the means to provide good nutritious food for themselves and their families. This is a tragic reality, particularly given the hardships of the pandemic year, and we are determined to do our part to help. We hope others will join us and help, too.”

Food insecurity is growing at an alarming and unprecedented rate in Toronto. The Sadaqa Project is timely and will help so many who need food at this critical moment,” states Rafi Aaron, spokesperson for the Interfaith Coalition to Fight Homelessness.

Fakih and Asaria have committed to donating the first 2,000 meals that the Sadaqa project will provide. The IDRF (International Development and Relief Foundation) has joined as a founding partner. “This pandemic has spotlighted the inequalities that exist across this country, and one of the significant challenges is the need for food security nationally. Families living below the poverty line should not have to think about their next meal,” says IDRF CEO Mahmood Qasim.

The meals are prepared in collaboration with chef Chris Klugman of Paintbox Bistro. “Providing the best quality of affordable and nutritious food has always been my mandate. Every individual deserves a delicious meal and we will provide that through this initiative,” says Klugman.

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