Food truck offers halal tacos and COVID vaccines at mosques, uniting OC Muslims and Latinos

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Rida Hamida holds a halal taco in one hand and a vaccination dose in the other at the Islamic Center of Santa Ana. Photo courtesy of Latino Muslim Unity.

If you drive by a mosque in Orange County around sunset, you may see something unusual in the parking lot: a mobile COVID-19 vaccination unit and a halal taco truck.

It’s part of an effort to get OC’s Muslim and Latino communities vaccinated during Ramadan, which runs from April 12 to May 12.

“Although it is permitted by Islam for them to be vaccinated during their fast, lot of folks were really hesitant to do that,” says Rida Hamida, the executive director and founder of Latino & Muslim Unity. She schedules a mobile vaccination unit and a halal taco truck to come to local mosques at sunset, when Muslims break their fast.

“We're using this moment to protect our communities and save lives by halal tacos,” she says, noting that Islamic centers in OC are often in the center of Latino neighborhoods, and both communities have been hit hard by COVID-19. Since 2017, she’s been organizing free halal taco popups at mosques called #TacoTrucksatEveryMosque throughout OC to bring together local Muslims and Latinos.

Hamida says hundreds of people have been vaccinated during these events. The next popup is taking place on Saturday, May 8, at the West Coast Islamic Society in Anaheim.

Credits

Guest:

  • Rida Hamida - Executive director and founder, Latino & Muslim Unity; cofounder of #TacoTrucksatEveryMosque