Recently Murray County Central’s food service department found itself with approximately 600 surplus meal trays. In searching to find them a home, board director Robin Gilbertson suggested the organization Children of the Promise. The organization, with its home office in Willmar, MN, and operating in Haiti, believes families should stay together. They serve families at risk of separation by investing in family strengthening programs, with the goal to keep families together and to empower them towards a life of sustainable health and wellness.
When the separation of a child from a family does occur due to a variety of reasons, Children of the Promise pursues family-based care and use temporary family-style residential care when needed, with the goal to unite the child with a healthy forever family.
Jamie Groen, Executive Director of Children of the Promise home office in Willmar, MN reached out when he had heard of the donation to the program. Jamie had the following to say:
Living in the United States, it can be easy to take food for granted. For most of us, the process of getting food into our bellies is fairly easy and enjoyable. In many places in this world, this isn't the case. Haiti is one of those places. For many Haitians, feeding family is a daily concern and consumes a lot of mental and physical energy. How will I pay for it? Will there be food in my market? Can I afford the fuel to cook it? Will the weather allow me to cook since my kitchen is outdoors? The list of concerns goes on...
At Children of the Promise, we are able to lighten these daily concerns for hundreds of families each day. We feed 260 students at our primary school each day. Each week, we offer nutritional support to a number of families in our outreach programs. We also feed our Haitian employees each day, which amounts to another 50 meals. For these individuals, it means nutrition that they can count on each day. For many of them, it may be the majority of what they eat that day.
We are grateful to do this, but we also admit that it isn't easy. We are blessed with support and resources, but we battle some of the same struggles of finding and preparing food in Haiti. One aspect of this process is simply finding serving containers for all these meals. Using disposable creates issues with cost and trash. However, purchasing plates, trays, or bowls that will last can be very expensive.
All of this is why we were so excited to hear about the opportunity to receive several hundred trays from the Slayton community! First off, since our home office is in Willmar, MN we love the Minnesota connection. Second, we believe that these trays will greatly support our efforts in feeding several hundred people in Northern Haiti each day.
For all who were involved in making this happen, we want to say thank you!