Strengthening Community: Forest Park Elementary’s Ramadan Food Drive

Forest Park Elementary is gearing up to carry on a tradition that started last year – the Ramadan Food Drive. This year’s drive is slated to begin on Thursday, March 14, signifying the ongoing commitment to this meaningful initiative. With the collaboration of the school, the Town of Colonie Police Department, EMS, and local partners, this effort is set to support the Islamic Center of the Capital District.

In conjunction with Tracy Burns, the school’s resource officer, and in partnership with Mr. Ayman Akari, coordinator of the Islamic Center of the Capital District, Forest Park Elementary is committed to fostering cultural awareness and building connections among students, staff, and families.

The upcoming food drive is a testament to the school’s dedication to supporting and celebrating the Muslim community, mirroring its enthusiastic participation in other community initiatives such as their longstanding annual ‘Stuff the Bus’ for Toys for Tots campaign. By embracing the values of Ramadan, including gratitude, generosity, and unity, Forest Park aims to unite in a spirit of compassion and understanding.

“To ensure a diverse range of donations, each grade level has been assigned specific food items,” said Forest Park Librarian Colleen Kuno. “Beginning this Thursday, students, staff, and families are invited and encouraged to contribute. An assembly is planned for the conclusion of the drive, where students will gather in the cafeteria to showcase their donations and celebrate the spirit of giving. The goal for this campaign is 500 food items.”

Following the assembly on March 28, South Colonie Transportation Department, accompanied by staff members and representatives from the Town of Colonie Police Department and EMS, will take a short bus journey to deliver the donated food items to the Islamic Center. 

“We hope to forge a positive connection within the community, providing students and families with a shared cause to support, all while fostering unity and embracing the diversity of our families,” Kuno added.