Since its foundation in 2008, soup has played a vital role at the Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley Humanitarian Respite Center.
For five years now, the center has taken on the enormous task of feeding hundreds of legally migrating families every day.
Many of the migrants have walked for thousands of miles across deserts, starving and dehydrated at the hands of smugglers and traffickers. When processed through different levels of law enforcement at the border, stress levels among the migrants remain high, while tolerance of new types of foods is low. Gentle food such as soup is an essential offering for those who have made this difficult journey.
Currently, the existing stove of the Humanitarian Respite Center is too small, and cannot be used to provide the amount of soup needed. Between 500 to 1,200 people utilize the resources of the Humanitarian Respite Center daily, which is beyond the capacity of this small stove. The local Red Cross has a larger kitchen, and delivers soup daily to the Humanitarian Respite Center. But this delivery arrangement is not sustainable long term.
As a food writer, I would like to initiate a fund-raiser so that the Humanitarian Respite Center can afford to buy a stove and exhaust system. The current stove is of no use and is completely inadequate.
While raising the funds, I plan to collect the stories of donors, public officials, immigrants, clergy, and citizens about their feelings on feeding people that need help. These interviews would be compiled into a book.
The fund-raising efforts would start immediately, with the potential to install the stove before Christmas 2019. We estimate the financial need to be around $30,000. If we surpass our fundraising goals, all excess monies would be committed to providing food for migrating families at the Humanitarian Respite Center.
Raising funds for a stove to feed people provides the opportunity to de-politicize our current border crisis and focus on the people that a stove could help. While the stove can provide food for the physical bodies of those in need, the stove could also provide spiritual food for a community, a nation, and individuals in need of healing.
Food is the common ground for all humankind. Instead of talking about politics, we can talk about simple needs. What makes us all human is needing each other, the need for fellowship and the need for sustenance.
Please consider a donation, and help feed humans in their moment of need.