AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — The Village Exchange Center is trying to get funds together to help those of the Islamic faith for Ramadan.
The community center has been serving immigrant and refugee families in Aurora since 2017. Its main recourse is being “the village pantry,” which provides food to those communities. The center is working toward buying an entire halal cow to feed those of the Islamic faith it helps.
Frankie Angulo-Olaiz, the director of programs and operations said, “we provide ingredients to make a meal and because of their dietary restrictions they also want to live and eat healthy and part of our work at the Village Exchange Center is health equity, so that’s part of our be able to access culturally appropriate foods is really important to them and to us.”
Halal, which means it is permitted under Islamic law, comes during Ramadan when those of the Islamic faith celebrate prayer, reflection and community.
“We do culturally appropriate foods there and halal meat is one of those things and the groups that we serve are different religious groups and ethnic groups, so for example, we have families that are Nauplius, Ethiopian and each of those different groups require certain foods,” Angulo-Olaiz said.
Through a partnership with a mosque in Northglenn, they’ve been able to work with a halal butcher to potentially purchase the cow. The cow would provide around 500 pounds of feed which would then be sorted into 3-pound servings.
This goal, in line with what they aim to do every day, is to celebrate all cultural and religious backgrounds.
“That sense of belonging and community is really important and at the Village Exchange Center when you walk in and see that big mural right inside of our building that’s what it says is ‘I belong’ and that’s really important for our refugee and immigrant communities to feel like they belong here and that we hear them and that we see them,” Angulo-Olaiz said.
That halal cow is set to cost $4,500 and would help feed 72 families. If you would like to donate, you can at a GoFundMe that’s been set up.