A group of Somali refugees in Minnesota are fighting to get local food banks to have halal food so that those with religious beliefs are able to eat if they need to.
Members of the large Somali-American community in the state say that it’s nearly impossible for them to find food at food banks that are in line with their religious dietary restrictions.
“Some food shelves are trying to meet the need, but some of them already got canned beans that have already been mixed with pork — and there is a literacy issue here,” activist Fartun Weli said.
The community members are now coming together to push for a food bank that doesn’t have pork or products containing pork.
“It’s about human rights also, basic human rights to get the proper food and also healthy food,” said Imam Hassan Mohamud.
Community members are taking their fight to Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin’s office with protest signs in hand. McLaughlin says that a kosher or halal food bank would require an in-depth look at the budget, as it will likely cost $15,000 to get one up and running. Somali-American activists are planning to present their idea to commissioners during a November 13 budget meeting.