06/03/2016 18:09 EDT | Updated 06/04/2017 01:12 EDT

Group helping Syrian refugees mark first Ramadan in Toronto with food baskets

A local group is helping Syrian refugees celebrate their first Ramadan in Toronto.

The holy month for Muslims, during which they will refrain from eating or drinking from sunrise to sunset, begins on Tuesday.

Syrian Active Volunteers(SAV), a non-governmental organization that was founded to support the Syrian refugees during their transition in Canada, is preparing food baskets for 400 families.

And it needs your help. The group is hosting a Syrian dinner and cultural event Friday evening and all funds raised will go towards filling Ramadan baskets.

Julie Mahfouz told CBC's Here And Now that each basket will be filled with rice, meat, hummus, baba ghanoush, dates and olive oil.

"These are foods that are consumed at the start and at the end of the fast," Mahfouz ssaid, adding that it "would be very difficult to buy these items. As we've seen, there have been challenges with food and a lot of them have been going to food banks and trying to get these foods."

 Mahfouz said that SAV plans on giving more than four kilograms 10 of meat to each family.  

"We wanted to do something that was plentiful, that would be enough for these large families, something specific to their diet and would help them during this time and help them think of home as well," she said.

Mahfouz offered some advice to Canadians who are privately sponsoring Syrian refugees and who would like to help them mark Ramadan.

"These are great foods," she said. "You can't go wrong with what we've listed in our baskets. Being able to get any of these or all of these would be lovely for a family."

For more details on how you can help, visit