Give us this day our daily soup

Columban Fr Martin Koroiciri writes about a parish initiative where he ministers in Chile helping the vulnerable in the Covid-19 pandemic.

Parish Soup Kitchen. Photos: Fr Martin Koroiciri

Parish Soup Kitchen. Photo: Fr Martin Koroiciri SSC

When the Coronavirus pandemic started people thought it was just a passing experience and within a few days things would go back to normal. The reality has been very different.

After hearing that a lot of people within our community were losing jobs and that families were going hungry, one of our parishioners suggested we start an ‘Olla Comun’ or soup kitchen to help feed families in difficulties.

A lot of people within our community were really supportive and donated things like clothes, shoes and vegetables so that we were able to reach more people.We have been serving now for a few weeks and even though there are other soup kitchens close by, people still flock to ours and sometimes arrive an hour early just to be sure that we will be opening.

Thanks to the great support of our volunteers, it’s not just food and winter clothes that we offer, it’s also about listening to the stories of families who are willing to share.

Parish Soup Kitchen. Photos: Fr Martin Koroiciri

Parish Soup Kitchen. Photos: Fr Martin Koroiciri SSC

Families where single mothers struggle to sell vegetables in the local market or people who have been living on the streets due to difficulties in their personal life.

It gives people a sense of comfort knowing they can come to our kitchen and share about their problems.

Although not everyone is interested in sharing and there are still many people who feel too embarrassed to come to our kitchen because of the gossip of neighbours.

That is one of our main challenges, but we are hopeful that God’s grace may them help to understand and help each other find unity, harmony, and solidarity especially in this pandemic era.

Columban Fr Martin Koroiciri is currently working in Chile.

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