For Haiyan families, a bowl of soup can make a differenceBy Melody Garcia-Muniz
An all-volunteer Mobile Soup Kitchen for Kids (MSKK) was organized to feed children and families in dire need of assistance following the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest storm ever to hit the Philippines
Formed immediately in the aftermath of the super typhoon in November 2013, MSKK went to Tacloban with nothing but a couple of stock pots, firewood, and donated food, and the volunteers started cooking in the middle of the streets. This is a very far cry from our western-style “soup kitchens” or “food trucks,” it is as bare bones as it gets. With nothing but sometimes firewood to gather, this group relentlessly went from town to town to cook nutritious porridge known as “arroz caldo” to feed folks who are still trying to recover from the havoc caused by Haiyan.
Led by a very humble leader, “Chef” Reynold de Vera, is always found in the trenches, cooking day in and day out, and leading his small group of “hope soldiers” to get to where help is needed the most. Because of small donations and out-of-pocket expenses, he has also initiated sustainability efforts by planting vegetable gardens in many school locations and communities hardest hit by the storm, to help carry them forward.
Responding to the immediate need, the MSKK fed over 600 children and families. Over the next several weeks, they will be going to different locations in an effort to bring Christmas hope and cheer through their feeding program and setting up Christmas pop-ups for puppet shows and give small gifts for the kids.
One soup bowl can make a world of difference. We invite you to be their Christmas miracle and an answer to their prayer for hope and help through your support and donation. A crowdfunding campaign has been set up via www.gofundme.com/ithswg. If you are able to spare $5, $10, $20 or more to bring the gift of Christmas and hope, we would be very humbled and these children and families will be forever grateful.