The Maktab Tarighat Oveyssi, or MTO, Shahmaghsoudi School of Islamic Sufism in Berkeley celebrated the end of Ramadan by donating three tons of groceries and 400 face masks to the Bear Pantry at University Village in Albany.
MTO, an international nonprofit, also commemorated the birthday of Sufi Master Hazrat Mir Ghotbeddin Angha with the donation, according to an MTO press release. The donation was a way to practice the Islamic principles of charity and service, MTO spokesperson Mana Nazeri added.
“As students of M.T.O. School of Islamic Sufism, we consider it our duty to perform charity and service to our community and especially during Ramadan which is the month of fasting, prayer, reflection, and charity,” Nazeri said in an email.
The donation includes nonperishable foods — rice, peanut butter, canned fruits, pasta, baby food and more — as well as 300 adult-sized and 100 child-sized face masks, Nazeri noted.
Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín referred the MTO center to Bear Pantry last year in its search to help the community, according to Nazeri. Due to a “great need” for food, MTO’s donation has become an annual event.
Nazeri added that because many of the center’s volunteers are UC Berkeley students, donating to Bear Pantry is a way of giving back to the campus community.
“The Bear Pantry provides food to students who live with their families and partners and face many demands as they work to finish their degrees,” Nazeri said in the email. “The majority of parenting students face food and housing insecurity and the high cost of housing plus the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have only added to their challenges.”
Nazeri noted that people can contribute to MTO’s charity efforts by donating nonperishable foods and personal protective equipment supplies.