Food drive in honor of Chapel Hill students yields tens of thousands of meals
Posted March 7, 2015
Updated March 8, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — Weeks after Deah Barakat, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha were shot and killed in Chapel Hill, friends and family have vowed to focus on how the three young Muslims served, rather than how they died.
On Saturday, The Islamic Center of Raleigh hosted a collection effort to benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.
"It is a wonderful reaction to such a heartbreaking thing," said participant Mari Anne Williams.
Friends said the event was inspired by Barakat's last Facebook post that showed him and others feeding the homeless in Durham.
"He went to downtown Durham and gave them food as well," said volunteer and friend Nisma Gabr. "So they were like, hey, let's start a national feed their legacy campaign and feed those in need."
In all, the Islamic Center delivered 15,497 cans, or about 12,278 pounds of food plus $2,271 in cash. The food bank estimates the donation is worth more than 21,000 meals.
Some who participated in Saturday's event knew the trio personally, others simply felt compelled to help.
According to Gabr, it is what the three would have wanted.
"This whole thing is helping me with the grieving," Gabr said. "Every time I just, I'm not going to lie, but I do cry, but what makes me stop crying is the fact that I'm doing something in honor of them."