Food baskets help newest coalition members 

Fatima Saidi

Our coalition of 77 organizations includes 30 ethnic-based organizations, and the Al-Badoo Community Association of Maine (ACAM) is our newest ethnic community-based member organization. Al-Badoo means “nomadic people” in Arabic. Members are originally from Iraq, but now make Maine their home. They began arriving in Maine in 2012.

The Al-Badoo Community Association seeks to help their community of over 260 families prosper and succeed by focusing on economic, social, mental, and physical health, and other aspects of their lives. ACAM provides the Al-Badoo community with resources for promoting leadership, self-reliance, education, and interconnectedness between them and the larger Maine community.

During the pandemic, ACAM members experienced hardship on many fronts, and reached out to MIRC and other organizations for help. Over the past few months, MIRC has supported the Al-Badoo Community Association of Maine with $20,500 in funding in the form of food baskets – with Iftar celebration baskets during the month of Ramadan, as well as food baskets after Ramadan.

The food baskets have reached 125 families in the greater Portland area, 56 families in Augusta, 38 families in Saco and Biddeford, 31 families in Westbrook, 13 families in Lewiston and Auburn, and 2 families in Naples. Each family received food worth $75.