by William P. Muhammad
BRONWOOD, Ga.—The Staple Goods Project is observing a decade of operation in conjunction with celebrating Founders’ Day of Muhammad Farms. The virtual event will be held July 3-4. The Staple Goods Project produces and supplies organic foodstuffs ranging from navy beans, lentils and brown rice to flour, honey, spices and other sundries, under the direction of Muhammad Farms manager Dr. Ridgely Abdul Mu’min Muhammad and his wife Anne Mu’min Muhammad.
The event will also observe and honor the work of the Georgia based husband and wife team and will serve to widen awareness of the food storage and sustenance program vital to Black America’s survival.
“This is actually the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Staple Goods Project,” said Andrea F. Muhammad, of Muhammad Mosque No. 28 in St. Louis and chairperson of the Staple Goods Virtual Planning Committee. “It is being combined with the actual Founders’ Day event which has been modified because of Covid,” she said.
The program will begin July 3 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Staple Goods virtual event co-chair, Sherry 2X, of Muhammad’s Study Group of Peoria, Illinois, said that assisting her husband, Dwayne 8X, led to her involvement with the 10th anniversary celebration in Georgia. Brother Dwayne 8X serves as Staple Goods program coordinator in Peoria.
Sister Sherry 2X believes that making more people aware of the Staple Goods program is critically important. The program has been received well in downstate Illinois over the years, she explained.
Their efforts have helped serve family and friends in her city and local and surrounding communities. The upcoming virtual event will help to garner more support for the program, she continued.
Residents who are members of the Nation of Islam and those who are not have placed orders through the Staple Goods Project. “Mainly it starts with family, but we do make announcements about it,” Sis. Sherry said. “We have participated in Black History Month vendor events, we have participated in food desert events in the community, we participated in the Southside Farmer’s Market, where we actually have products available for purchase, and those were just a few.”
Describing the duties of his 26 years service to Muhammad Farms, including the last 19 years as an appointee to the post of Student Minister of Agriculture by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, Dr. Ridgely Muhammad told The Final Call, it is important to see the 10-year anniversary of the Staple Goods Project as an opportunity to inform the masses of its value, both inside and outside of the Nation of Islam.
“We know how to produce, but we need more customers, and the Staple Goods Project allows us to send products to over 80 cities twice a year,” Dr. Ridgely Muhammad said. “The main issue of course is the cost of transportation, but the members of the Staple Goods Project, which is a co-op, decided that we would subsidize those cities that are far away by putting in a price that would cover the cost of transportation to (distant) locations—so we are able to give everyone a decent and great product at a great price without eliminating those cities that are far away from the farms,” he said.
Among the many challenges facing farming operations in general, and particularly Black farmers is the creation of niche markets, granting specialized products access to specialized interests. With Muhammad Farms, located in Bronwood, Ga., offering crops free of pesticides, herbicides, genetically modified organisms, additives or preservatives, the products are as beneficial as they are unique.
“To the sisters especially, make sure everyone knows about the Staple Goods Project,” said Sis. Anne Mu’min Muhammad. She serves as operations assistant at Muhammad Farms. “We try to keep people well stocked, but what we’re finding now is that the Believers are eating their supplies, so they have to order over and over again, and if you don’t have freezer space, it’s very difficult to store organic foods. When you’re talking about organic, you’re talking about foods that are prepared and grown without chemicals and without any chemical preservatives,” Sis. Anne Mu’min Muhammad said.
With the high-quality products of Muhammad Farms coming from non-GMO seeds, Sis. Anne also said the farm’s refined products add value to the brand. “I traveled to some cities and I said, ‘What if I could develop a cream of wheat muffin mix?’” she explained. She eventually developed “Sister Anne’s Kitchen: Buttermilk Cream of Whole Wheat Muffin and Bread Mix,” only requiring the addition of eggs, water and oil, she said.
Saving the dates of July 3-4 and participating in both the 10th annual celebration of the Staple Goods Project and Founders’ Day observation, gives the public not only a glimpse into an important operation of The Nation of Islam “Do-for-Self” work ethic, but also an opportunity to become involved in one of the essentials of life—the production and distribution of quality food while breaking from a “deathstyle” into a “lifestyle” of productivity and good health.
“It’s not just a matter of importance,” Dr. Muhammad said. “It’s a matter of separation or death.”
For more information on the July 3-4 virtual celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Staple Goods Project, visit The Ministry of Agriculture webpage at www.noimoa.org.