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'Operation Bean Soup Rescue' serves suffering community

By Saeed Shabazz -Staff Writer- | Last updated: Nov 22, 2012 - 10:25:25 AM

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Student Minister Abdul Hafeez Muhammad with a resident who was given a case of fresh water. Photos: Michael Soaries
NEW YORK ( - The Fruit of Islam from Mosque No. 7 and Mosque No. 7C recently visited Far Rockaway, Queens, to help residents of an apartment complex devastated by Hurricane Sandy by delivering food and other essentials.

“What we were doing was an extension of Peace in the Street. What we did was to help those victimized by Hurricane Sandy to secure their well-being, by bringing to their door a cup of hot bean soup and a friendly greeting from the F.O.I.,” Student Min. Abdul Hafeez Muhammad of Harlem’s Mosque No. 7 told The Final Call. The men of the Nation of Islam delivered much more than soup, offering food, clothing and other essential items.

The New York Fruit of Islam have been in the community every Monday since Min. Louis Farrakhan’s call in August to go into the streets to stem the tide of violence that has gripped Black neighborhoods across America.

“It was heartwarming to see the tears from the young mothers, when we handed them diapers, baby food and baby wipes,” said Forrest Muhammad, who drove the 18-foot truck filled with food and clothing, batteries, flashlights, water and masks from Brooklyn to Far Rockaway. It was important to get the hot food to the many elderly basically trapped in their apartments, because three weeks after the super storm and a nor’easter the elevators were still not working.

“I thank Farrakhan, what the F.O.I. is doing is so wonderful,” said Madeline Simmons, a resident of Edgemere Houses for 47 years. “Most of us have been without food in our homes for the past two weeks; everything in my refrigerator had to be thrown out,” Ms. Simmons added.

The F.O.I. distributed, food, clothing, fresh water and toys for the children.
Samantha Pincock, 24, has children ages five months and six years old. “It is like the Great Depression for us, we cannot do anything. There are no stores open, carrying my laundry by bus,” she said. Looking at the men in suits and bowtie unloading the much needed supplies, Ms. Pincock said: “It’s a good feeling to get help from anybody; but there is something special about these men helping us.”

Glen Shabazz, who joined onto the Nation of Islam in 1967, said, “This just reaffirms what the Messenger (the Hon. Elijah Muhammad) had said to us, it shows he was right and exact, when he taught us of this day, and what we must do to help our people!”

“We have been taught this day would come. It is a blessing to have the teachings, and be able to bring it to the people,” added Darryl Muhammad, who joined the Nation in 1995. Both were referring to the Hon. Elijah Muhammad’s warnings that natural disasters would punish America for her evil done to Black people and urging that his followers be prepared with survival kits in their homes.

The people’s response to the Muslim presence was very positive, said Mr. Hafeez Muhammad. “And for most of the people they had never tasted our N.O.I. bean soup; many of them came two or three times for another cup of the ‘life-giving’ soup,” he added.

Forrest Muhammad said Nov. 17 was successful because the N.O.I. had built a bridge with the Occupy Sandy movement, who provided the much needed supplies for “Operation Bean Soup.”