Give Us Our Daily Bread

"After hearing word that a lot of people within our community were losing jobs and going hungry, one of our parishioners wanted to start an 'Olla Comun' or soup kitchen, to help feed families who couldn’t afford to buy food."

GIVE US OUR DAILY BREAD

by Fr. Martin Koroiciri, SSC

Olla Comun 4

The author is a Columban priest from Fiji and is presently working at Parroquia San Columbano, Chile.

When the Corona pandemic started, people thought it was just a passing experience. Surely, within a few days, things would go back to normal. However, the reality today is far from it.

After hearing word that a lot of people within our community were losing jobs and going hungry, one of our parishioners wanted to start an “Olla Comun” or soup kitchen, to help feed families who couldn’t afford to buy food.

Olla Comun 3

Once this project has started, we realized that people in this community are incredibly supportive. They have donated clothes, shoes, and vegetables so we can reach more people.

We have been serving meals for two weeks already and even though there are other soup kitchens close by, people still flock to ours and sometimes arrive an hour early just to confirm if we will be opening.

Thanks to the great support of our volunteers, it’s not just food and winter clothes that we offer in our service, but also a place where families who are willing to share their stories are being listened. There are families with single mothers struggling to sell vegetables in the local market and people who have been living in the streets due to wrong choices made in the past. It gives people a sense of comfort knowing they can come to our kitchen and share about their life.

Olla Comun 1

Not all people are willing to open themselves, but there are still so many who are embarrassed to come to our kitchen because of the gossip they might hear from the neighbors. That is one of our main challenges here, but we are hopeful that God’s grace may enable them to understand that we should help each other find unity, harmony, and solidarity especially in this pandemic era.