Mississauga Store Donates $50k in Grocery Vouchers to Syrian Refugees

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To the entire Abdulwahab Family including Ma'an, Amal and Ziad, I would like to thank you on behalf of the residents of Mississauga for taking the initiative and launching this generous grocery store voucher program in support of refugee families, Mayor Bonnie Crombie said on Saturday. 

In December 2015, Ziad Abdulwahab, Operation Manager, Mona Fine Foods reached out to Mississauga Centre MP Omar Alghabra, Mayor Crombie and the United Way Peel Region, about an initiative to provide grocery store vouchers to refugees that settled in Mississauga and Peel Region.

Mona Fine Foods has committed to donating $50,000.00 worth of grocery vouchers, and have provided the United Way Peel Region with $25,000.00 to date. Grocery vouchers have been created in denominations of $100.00 and $50.00. Of the $25,000.00 donated thus far, $9,550.00 has been distributed. 

Today's event was a symbolic cheque presentation made by Ziad Abdulwahab in recognition of his family's efforts and company's initiative to work with trusted local community partners to distribute the vouchers, which also include:

  • Malton Neighbourhood Services;
  • Catholic Crosscultural Services;
  • Newcomer Centre of Peel;
  • Polycultural Immigrant and Community Services; and
  • Peel District School Board Welcome Centres. 

The event took place at Khan Murjan Cafe & Bakery owned by Mona Fine Foods. MP Alghabra, Mayor Crombie and Shelley White, President and CEO of the United Way Peel Region were among the many in attendance. 

Mayor Crombie said "Like the announcement of today's grocery voucher program by Mona Fine Foods, the Syrian refugee crisis has brought people together, to work toward the common goal to help those unable to help themselves." 

Mayor Crombie added "Last September, my office organized a Syrian Community Summit which brought together community, faith, and business leaders all committed to addressing the Syrian migrant crisis. 

"An immediate action item from this meeting was to work with Lifeline Syria to set up a Mississauga Lifeline Syria Fund. The fund is up and running. It will make grants to registered charities to pay for costs associated with sponsoring and settling Syrian refugees to Mississauga and the GTA." 

"In October, we opened the doors of City Hall and invited all residents to participate in a Lifeline Syria Sponsorship Session. This information session was an important opportunity for residents to better understand how they can do their part to support the thousands of families fleeing violence." 

"In November, Council endorsed my motion calling on the Region of Peel to urgently develop a comprehensive action plan to coordinate efforts to accommodate the influx of Syrian refugees." 

Every step of the way the residents and community groups - like the United Way Peel Region - have been the ones who have turned ideas into results, Mayor Crombie said. 

Mayor Crombie concluded "Thank you again to the Abdulwahab Family and the staff from Mona Fine Foods. For many refugees, your acts of compassion are some of the first introductions refugees will have to Canada, and the Canadian way. All of Mississauga and Canada takes pride in what you have done."

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