Muslim volunteers give 5,000 turkeys to Chicago families

Thanksgiving turkey (MGN)

Thanksgiving turkey (MGN)

CHICAGO (AP) — A group of Muslim volunteers in Chicago has expanded a 16-year-old program in which it gives free turkeys to underprivileged families on the city’s South Side.

Volunteers from Sabeel Food Pantry, a Muslim-run pantry on the city’s northwest side, has distributed 5,000 turkeys this year, tripling the number of free birds handed out last year, the Chicago Tribune reports. The group also grew the project to include eight elementary schools in three neighborhoods.

Turkey drive organizer Dr. Sofia Shakir says the group had planned to expand the effort for almost a year. She said it was serendipitous that it came together after what she called a discouraging presidential campaign in which Muslims feared being viewed as un-American by the administration of President-elect Donald Trump.