Monday, February 22, 2010

DEARBORN, Mich. – Mariam Wehbe learned about a program offering home-delivered meals made according to Islamic law at a good time — poor health made cooking impossible and a grandson who helps her had to cut back to devote more time to school.

Plus, as a Muslim, she could keep halal.

Wehbe, 70, who lives in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, is among the recipients of a new Halal Meals on Wheels program. It's the first in the country to work with a national halal food distributor and comes after a lengthy effort by nonprofit agencies that serve area senior citizens as well as Muslim- and Arab-Americans.

Like other Meals on Wheels programs, it's designed for people who are at least 60 years old, confined to their homes and unable to make their own meals. But the halal meals also are deemed permissible or lawful for Muslims because they are prepared according to Islamic teachings.

Amne Talab, social services director of the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services in Dearborn, said the need has grown as the population ages and more elderly lose help from family members working more to make ends meet in a tough economy.

She also was inspired by the success of a local kosher Meals on Wheels program.

"(We) were aware of the regular Meals on Wheels program and wondered ... if they could make it halal," said Talab, who is also a member of the state's Commission on Services to the Aging.;_ylt=Akw.Q8Ek936.Kzd2LBXH3bk7Xs8F;_ylu=X3oDMTJwNmZiYjVxBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTAwMjIwL3VzX2hhbGFsX2hvdXNlX2NhbGwEcG9zAzYEc2VjA3luX3BhZ2luYXRlX3N1bW1hcnlfbGlzdARzbGsDaGFsYWxtZWFsc2Nv

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