The distribution is being held on a small block of vacant land between closely packed housing, mostly in a dilapidated state. Even before the food arrives children gather and watch the food preparation and eagerly introduce their younger brothers and sisters, and friends. Later children from a nearby school also join us, so approximately 200 children are being cared for and fed nutritious food today.
Towards the end of the program, one very tired mother in dirty, ripped and dusty clothes brings her son. He is very quiet and inward, and eats little. We notice his elbow is raw and infected. Through questioning we find out that the woman has nothing. Her husband left her with 4 children and no income. One month previously she had hit the small boy with a stick, and in the dirt, heat and rain the injury has become badly infected. She did not know what to do nor did she have money to do something. So now she is escorted to hospital, and the small boy is able to receive the care needed for the injury to heal.
Without the feeding program, it is unlikely this women and boy would have received the medical care needed. It is another reminder that the attention, and care we can offer to the slum communities through the feeding programs is as nourishing as the food itself.