Ramallah-American Club of Jacksonville hosts Thanksgiving food drive

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Members of the Ramallah-American Club of Jacksonville on the Southside gave away Thanksgiving meals Sunday morning.

The decision was a no-brainer for Nader Farhat, who has been a member of this club for as long as he could remember.

“As a young kid, my parents would bring me here just like I do my kids,” Farhat said, who helped organize the food drive with his wife. “This is the reason why I am bringing my kids. I want them to get involved and give back to the community so that they can learn from it and eventually do the same thing as they grow up. All of us are blessed in life. Some people just need a little help, and it warms our hearts to be able to do this in the community.”

Around 100 meals were handed out — which was enough food to feed up to 600 people.

Leigh Cole drove 20 miles to pick up a meal for some friends who are on hard times.

“They are kind of out of their luck, so this is going to help them so much,” Cole said. “We need more people that will step in and help others.”

Every person who showed up got a turkey, a bag full of different items including ham, bread, canned goods, pasta and dessert.

Club president Brenda Batteh Brown says feeding the community for the Thanksgiving holiday is a more than 60-year tradition.

Recently, the club transitioned to doing drive-up food giveaways. In the past, it would host dinners.

“As immigrants, we know what it is like to come to this country and not know the wherewithal of everything that happens,” Brown said. “We want to make sure that we can give back.”

One by one, members expressed that giving is a part of who they are.

“I hope they understand our culture a little bit more and that they realize that everybody here is here to serve,” Brown said.

“In today’s world, we have to be nice,” Farhat said. “We have to treat people kindly.”

Farhat and Brown believed this was a perfect way to do that.

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