A Food Parcel Is a Safety Net to Catch a Family
Since April, the Mustard Seed Mission assisted 300 families in Delhi and Ghaziabad in India, and 406 families in the Metro Manila in the Philippines. A total of 706 families were supported by food parcels in two months.
In June, the second phase of food parcel rescue will be continued in the indigenous areas of Odisha and also Delhi in India. It is expected to reach 400 families. In Jakarta and rural areas of Indonesia, 180 families are expected to receive food rescue parcels.
Hunger All Over the World
About 1.6 billion workers from the informal sector are in dire straits because of the lockdowns governments have imposed to stop the spread of the virus. No income, no food. Worldwide, the number of people suffering acute hunger could double from 135 million today to 265 million by the end of the year, the World Food Program says. [i] If people have been in hunger for a long time, their mental concentration will decrease. They will be more anxious and worried, and they are also prone to expose themselves to chronic diseases. Unable to obtain food stably for a long time, the most obvious impact on children is malnutrition, resulting in short stature, underweight or overweight [ii], and even anemia.
Food Rescue with Consideration and Thoughtfulness
Amid the COVID-19 epidemic, we discussed with the partners inIndia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Cambodia. We know that if people lack stable food intake will directly and indirectly affect their physical and mental state. Therefore, under the lockdown of the cities, the first step is to carry out food rescue urgently. When discussing with partners from various countries, they have brought ideas about food packages, in addition to differences in food preferences and diet culture, as well as considerations of age, calories, nutrition, economic benefits, and psychological satisfaction.
“We make sure that we are responding to the needs of the family, taking into consideration the children and the senior citizens. Children and seniors need milk, while adults get by in the day with a warm coffee in the morning. Sometimes, they don't even have breakfast but a warm coffee is enough.” said Fhabi, our working partner in the Philippines.
Comparison of Food Parcels in Countries
Satisfaction with Calories
From the table above we can see that in India, Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines all take rice as the main staple food. India has flour and lentils, and Indonesia has instant noodles. During a discussion with Sarah, a working partner in Delhi, India, she said: "In addition to rice, we also eat chapati with lentil, which is easy to get full."
Our Indonesian partners Lendy shared with us why there is instant noodles included, he said "...in poor families, sometimes the rice is not enough, they will eat instant noodles together with rice to get full, and get enough calories."
For condiments, salt and soy sauce are the most common; partners in the Philippines mentioned that people who live in poverty need to eat rice with salt and soy sauce together.
Fish sauce is specially mentioned in the Cambodian food parcel. Cambodian partner Mr. Chendra said: "Even if there is no other food, fish sauce is very important in every meal to eat with rice."
Daily Satisfaction, Various Nutritional Supplements
Inside the food parcels, we saw special items in different countries, such as tea in India, vegetables and pasta in the Philippines, and eggs in Indonesia. One by one, we learned about the context of buying and distributing supplies.
"Tea is indispensable every day. Families and offices drink tea in the morning and afternoon." Indian partner said."Eggs are easy to obtain, cheap and have protein nutrition." Indonesian partner said.When talking about delivering vegetables, working partners in the Philippines shared, “During the lockdown of the city, it was difficult to obtain fresh vegetables, and the price was expensive. When community residents received fresh vegetables, many of them couldn’t hide their happiness.”
In India, the working partners haven’t mentioned vegetables in the food parcels yet, but when distributing the supplies, they also bought potatoes, broccoli, tomatoes, and cucumbers in addition to rice, flour, salt, sugar, etc. to supplement various nutrients.
（Photo by Sister Poshiya）
（Photo by ISACC）
（Photo by ISACC）
（Photo by ISACC）
Spaghetti Helps a Father to Keep a Promise to His Child
“For variety, we put pasta and noodles, which is really essential for celebrations. We had several houses who were very thankful that they have pasta or noodles because at least one member of the family is supposed to be celebrating a birthday.” A working partner in the Philippines shared.“One night, one of our recipient driver was teary eyed when he saw a pasta in the package. He promised his child that they are celebrating her birthday but he has nowhere to get money for food. He was very very happy that he can fulfill his promise to his child.” She continued."In terms of food diversity, I want to celebrate the spaghetti or general noodles to be used, and I also prepare these two kinds of food together."
Amid the lockdown, the Mustard Seed Mission and the wroking partners in countries are supporting the vulnerable families, sustaining the kitchens in the families continue to offer familiar taste. Having solid rice and bread in unstable days like this, the food not only feeds the stomach, connects the turbulent hearts, and conveys the feeling of mutual help between people.
Retrieve from The Mustard Seed Mission