DOWNTOWN — They're getting to the meat of battling hunger this holiday season.
Two community groups began distributing 1,000 pounds of donated Halal meat Tuesday to city shelters.
The meat drive, spearheaded by the Turkish Cultural Center and City Harvest, began during the November celebration of the Muslim holiday of Eid ul Adha (The Feast of Sacrifice), which encourages the donation of food to the hungry.
"In New York City, 1.4 million residents are classified as food insecure," said Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who hosted the donation event Tuesday.
"At the same time, over half the food pantries and soup kitchens in our city cannot meet demand, and this meat will go a long way toward helping City Harvest feed to more than 300,000 hungry New Yorkers who depend on it each week."
City Harvest will distribute the meat — which is packed in 500 airtight plastic bags — to the agencies they work with throughout the five boroughs.
"We have over 600 partner agencies that we work with, and right now I have my whole agency group back in the office working on how we are going to distribute these 1,000 pounds evenly to make sure as many shelters as possible can benefit from this donation," said Lisa Sposato, senior manager of food sourcing for City Harvest.
Eid ul Adha, which began Nov. 6 and lasted three days, commemorates the story of Abraham being tested by God when asked to sacrifice his son, Isaac, before God intervened to provide Abraham with a ram in place of his child.
Since that time, Muslims have celebrated the holiday by sacrificing animals and donating two-thirds of the meat to the hungry.