Salaam Food Pantry was established in 2016. The first food distribution was held on April 28th, 2016. Naseer Irfan, founder of Salaam Food Pantry mentions that their intention is to support the residents of the Irvington community and close by vicinity. People such as veterans, single parents, and impoverished families who struggle to pay for their rent or food are among the crowd they want to reach out to. Naseer Irfan and his full family including wife and children work diligently with a group of volunteers to prepare, co-ordinate and organize the monthly food distributions in the Irvington community of Fremont, Bay Area.
The process of maintaining the pantry is a collaborative volunteer based effort. All essential non-perishable food items such as: pasta, oatmeal cereal, rice, cooking oil, tuna, peanut butter, canned soup, canned vegetables, crackers, tomato sauce are purchased ahead and bagged by volunteers and transported to Islamic Center of Fremont, the site of the food distribution, on the third Saturday of every month. Some community members purchase fresh apples, bananas, oranges, pears, carrots, celery, potatoes and onions for early drop off.
Since its launch, the Salaam Food Pantry has successfully served the underprivileged community members while at the same time presenting Islamic virtues of tending to one’s neighbors. This organization dreams to expand the pantry so that people are yielded food on a weekly basis rather than monthly. Irfan also expressed another one of his ambitions, which is to have other organizations replicate the pantry in order to take care of needy families in their own communities. Striving to fulfill these aspirations will certainly be a long journey. However, with the enormous positive influence that the pantry already has on society, it is thrilling to envision the even larger impact Salaam Food Pantry can have as it continues to develop.