Birmingham Islamic Society has been donating a monthly gift of halal chicken to the University of Alabama’s kitchen, helping Muslim students find halal dietary options on campus.
The initiative by the Islamic Society followed a call UAB Benevolent Fund manager Lisa Higginbotham made to the community for help.
The Birmingham Islamic Society answered the call with a commitment to donate 800 pounds of halal chicken every month, made possible by $1,500-$2,000 donations from its members each month, India Education Diary reported.
“One of the things we noticed is we had a lot of shoppers who were not able to access the food, especially protein, that they wanted, because of their faith beliefs,” Higginbotham said.
“And we were just blown away by the Birmingham Islamic Society’s contribution and their commitment to working with us, to make sure that UAB students have access to halal food.”
Halal is an Arabic word that means “permissible.” As well as meat, the term also applies to other food products, cosmetics, personal care products, and pharmaceuticals.
Ashfaq Taufique, president emeritus at the Birmingham Islamic Society, said they are looking for olunteers to help with the packing and distribution of chicken.
“This was an opportunity that we could not let go, and thank God for the generosity of some of our community members,” Taufique said.
“We have been blessed to be more fortunate, and therefore it is incumbent upon us — it is our faith that requires us — to be generous toward our community and our community members who may not be as fortunate as we are.”
Several schools and universities have started offering halal dietary options to their students.
Atlantic City school district began serving halal food at several elementary schools and the high school in March 2021.
The new menus with halal options came as the result of three-year effort spearheaded by Muslim board member Farook Hossain.
Brentwood district, New York, has also started serving halal-certified food in school cafeterias in September.