Applesauce Event in Sacramento to Help Community
By Zaki Syed

Smiles on the volunteers’ faces after completion of the job

Since the year 2003, Sacramento’s ISB (Interfaith Service Bureau) has been canning applesauce for the poor. As people of all faiths headed into the holidays for the year 2006, the members of Sacramento’s ISB were determined to keep this tradition alive.
“We provide food for those that are challenged to put food on the table,” said ISB member Bob Fossgreen. Not only does canning applesauce help the poor, but it also unites people from different faiths to work for one common goal: peace.” This year Pakistani American Association, Muslim Mosque, Sacramento Area League of Associated Muslims, Masjid An Noor, West Sacramento Sikh Gurdawara and many other organizations participated in this worthy cause.
“By getting everybody together to help the community we can create peace,” said Seicho Asahi of the NC Buddhist Koyasan Temple.
The interfaith community keeps this tradition alive at the Bishop Cannery, located on 8401 24th Avenue and 84th St. In order to can applesauce; it is necessary to make the applesauce. Inside the cannery, there are barrels of different types of apples. Using these barrels, volunteers fill up tubs with apples, trim and place them on a conveyor belt. From there the trimmed apples go up into a machine, where the apples are chopped up and heated. The apples are then turned into sauce and are transferred into kettles where sugar is added. The machine pours the applesauce into cans; the cans then come rolling out of a machine as volunteers stack them into metals tubs. The tubs are then transferred into a tank to cool the temperature of the applesauce. A week later, volunteers return to label the cans. They stack the cans on a conveyor belt, as a machine attaches labels of applesauce. After six to ten hours of tedious and painstaking work, the applesauce is packaged and is ready to be sent to numerous homeless shelters and food closets throughout the city of Sacramento.

ISB officers and members
Volunteers at the conveyor belt
A group at the assembly line

The event attracted people of many faiths, with Pakistanis and Muslims making a good representation though they could do better. Omar Chaudry, a Pakistani youth, said he would like to see more Muslim youth attend events that help the poor. “I want to show others that Muslims want to help.” Rizwana Siddiqui of Masjid An Noor echoed his sentiment, saying that “we must show our unity and interact with people of all faiths.” She felt that Islam supports the needy and poor; thus, it is an Islamic duty to participate in activities that help the poor.
Helping the poor, deprived, underprivileged is a core principle of Islam. However, the rest of the world does not know that, which is why it is important for Muslims to partake and contribute in interfaith events that help the poor.
After 9/11, London bomb blasts, and numerous disasters throughout the world, interfaith communications for Muslims are no longer an option. The world is a delicate place, and we all live in it together. If followers of other religions were to examine Islam closely they would see that they have more commonalities than differences with Muslims. However, sources such as the media continually work to divide us rather than unite us. That is why it is up to us, everyone one of us, to educate people about the true meaning of Islam. Remember you can sit at home all day and watch TV, or you can get up and do something to help fellow human beings and the Muslim Ummah!



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
2004 . All Rights Reserved.