- The Washington Times - Monday, September 22, 2014

Muslims in Minnesota facing poverty and tapping local food banks say they need a program that recognizes their pork-free needs.

Somali-Americans in one Minneapolis community have called for local government officials to create a no-pork zone via a special food shelf just for foods that conform to their faith, a local CBS News affiliate reported.

“It’s about human rights also — basic human rights to get the proper food and also healthy food,” Imam Hassan Mohamud told the affiliate.

Community activist Fartun Weli said even those food banks that try to help the Muslim community with special-labeled foods often get it wrong.

“Some food shelves are trying to meet the need, but some of them already got canned beans that have already been mixed with pork — and there is a literacy issue here,” Mr. Weli said, CBS reported.

A band of activists carting signs took their plea to the Hennepin County Commissioners office to ask local officials for help.

One local official estimated it would cost $150,000 to create the shelf, though the cost of maintaining it long-term hasn’t yet been figured, the affiliate reported.

The plan heads to the local commissioners’ meeting for discussion in November.

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