Our first Saturday out we prepared and passed out a little over 200 lunches; the second Saturday we reached 258, and our third Saturday ended with 420 lunches being prepared and passed out to the community. We didn't place any limits on people. It was not uncommon to see a mother leaving the line with twelve lunches in hand, though some did take a single bag.
We are not deluding ourselves into thinking that providing a lunch is commensurate with employing a man or woman, or providing housing, or child-care, but it does show in the simplest form that we care about the community. A week ago, a young man--while reflecting on an unpleasant recent experience at a food pantry-- said, "when people see you desperate, they treat you like *#@#!" I believe that we are well on our way to overcoming that type of expectation from those who claim they are here to help.
The dignity of each person must be protected and the state of need that prompts a person to stand in line for a lunch (or any other zakat/charity) should never result in diminishing their value as a human being.
We'll be back this coming Saturday, August 3rd 2013 , 10am-12pm, doing our best to demonstrate the spirit of Islam.