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Group of young St. Louisans driven by faith to help those in need

“Our prophet said to be able to feed one person is like being able to feed all of humanity,” said Anya Rahman

ST. LOUIS — There are people throughout the St Louis area trying to better the conditions of others during these difficult times. 

Anya Rahman is driven by her faith. “Our prophet said to be able to feed one person is like being able to feed all of humanity,” she told 5 On Your Side. 

That's why not far from where she worships on West Florissant Avenue, Rahman holds up a sign offering free food for people in need. 

“It’s one thing to donate and do stuff like that, which is also a good deed within itself. But it is another thing to truly sit down with your community," she said. The community around her is hurting. "Especially with COVID and the pandemic. There are more people who are out of jobs who can’t provide for their families."

But long before the pandemic hit, Rahman and Project Downtown St Louis had already started to provide.

“Where we would be able to hand out hot meals to the unhoused population in St Louis,” she said. They launched the non-profit nine years ago. “It turned into this big thing. It was pretty small when it started.” 

But there is nothing small about their kind gesture. Every Saturday, their table is lined up with food. There is pizza, donuts and more. 

"They deserve to have a choice," Rahman said.

Although she believes the people they serve don’t have choices for everything in their life. It’s a problem she believes led them here. 

“It’s a systemic problem. When we’re helping out, we’re only helping out the symptoms of the bigger problem," she said. This group of 20-somethings is taking on that problem as best they can. 

“It’s our generation now that needs to step up. This is like the least that we can do.” They are stepping up and stepping out of their comfort zone. “It was really different,” she said. 

Faith has given them the heart to make a difference. 

“It’s really heartwarming,” she said adding, “it’s a blessing for us to be able to help.” 

To help them in their efforts, visit their website, pdstl.org.

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