An Islamic family charity adapts to serve needy families through the COVID crisis
By Ishita Verma | January 4, 2021
During a difficult year, the Islamic Family & Social Services Association (IFSSA) has expanded its support for Edmontonians who need it. Approaching its 30th year, the organization helps families from different backgrounds by supporting people’s economic, mental, social and spiritual health. “The reason people come to us is because we support them with security, safety and growth,” says Servant of Servants (Executive Director) Omar Yaqub.
For clients, this means they can receive food, and support with domestic violence and mental-health issues. Distributing food isn’t something related solely to the pandemic. The organization regularly partners with the Edmonton Food Bank, running the second largest food depot, which, at the moment, means food for 5000 people.
In order to continue serving the community, IFSSA installed a drive-through window for the food hampers. “I think one of the things we’re really excited about now is: How do we not think about a return to normal, but how do we think about starting fresh?” Yaqub says, adding that one of the ways IFSSA is doing this is by developing new technology.
The digital tools will help the association to stay in contact with clients and provide support when needed. “If you’re food insecure and worried about your kids being hungry, that probably isn’t the best time to tell you about a head start program,” Yaqub says. The digital tools will make it easier for IFSSA to guide clients towards the resources that could benefit them.