Sabrina’s Soup Kitchen You can do it too!
I am no Mother Teresa. A regular mom who raised my kids pretty much on my own, I have a ton of bills and a host of responsibilities. I love shopping and shoes are my weakness. You can imagine there should be no more room for more work and expense, much less feeding the hungry. Perhaps many of you identify with a few of these details. I say this because I am making a point. You do not have to be a saint, wealthy or people of leisure to feed the hungry:
“If you cannot feed all, feed one,” says the blessed Mother Teresa.
This was how I got started; just as simple as that. Have you ever had this longing to do something truly important like feed the hungry, but then you get overwhelmed because of the vast number of hungry out there? Seeing our poor daily, while we ride in our car to and from work, it’s clear there is so much hunger and poverty out there and something needs to be done. You battle within yourself, however, and say stuff like ‘there are just too many’, or ‘I cannot feed them all’, or even ‘I am not rich; let the wealthy who have more feed them’, and ‘I do my part already and give to the church and foundations’. All these arguments are so convincing, but it stops your compassion in its tracks. So the idea, the longing, sizzles out and we are off on our daily selfish routine.
I have longed for quite some time to feed our hungry. Often I hear about the negativity of giving in to beggars. Do not encourage laziness etc., but the fact remains that when one is hungry, one cannot possibly think straight, much less make responsible decisions.
I personally get the shakes when hungry and cannot tell the difference between left and right, or even just making a simple decision is impossible.
Every time I eat beautiful food, or see gorgeous billboards of people stuffing themselves with deliciously photographed food, I think, can you imagine how our poor feel? It must be a total feeling of insignificance. That they do not matter, that they are left out and God and society has forgotten them. Indifference is the enemy indeed. Our attitude towards how we can help in our own small way will make all the difference. Do not fear; it’s not as hard as it looks. You will find the rewards are so very much greater than the effort.
Here is how I set up a Soup Kitchen for 60 kids
at the Missionaries of the Poor
- Begin with a huge rice cooker, preferably one with a capacity to cook about 40 cups of rice.
- Create a lugaw/congee/arroz caldo type dish packed with gulay, liver, eggs, chicken, ginger and broth. I call this my super soup kitchen food.
- Everyone loves arroz caldo. What is great is I could load all the healthy veggies and nutrition in it.
- To keep things simple try to have as little containers as possible. Large containers are better than many small ones. I pretty much bring the whole kaldero to the missions.
- For dessert, just pick fruits in season: bananas, pineapple, or any fruit. The kids love bananas. They love all fruits, period. Add a large water jug and you’re off. These healthy meals are delivered by me and my children every Sunday for the last three years.My son, his girlfriend my daughter and I load the stuff in my pick up and we are off to save the world.
As we arrive in my overused red pick-up, the kids are already jumping and excited with happy smiles and happy greetings. I cannot describe the joy I feel just seeing this friendship and bond created over the years. Pure love. Once the children trust you, you begin to hear about their everyday life, school, favorite subjects. They tell me who failed or who was not allowed in school. One cute story was when I asked why a little kid was not in school anymore, the other kids answered to say he was banned because he bit his teacher!
I discovered that beyond the feeding, this was a great opportunity to read to the children, play games and encourage staying in school. I found that many of the kids entire life’s dream was to finish their schooling.
Obstacles like not having enough money for their project (maybe 25 to 50 pesos) cause them to be embarrassed and ultimately drop out. Another discovery was a great majority of the kids that dropped out was because their parents had over five to six sometimes, even eight kids. The children were forced to stay home and help the parent. I learned this because when I would check the report cards and certain high achievers no longer attended class, I was told the reason was due to parents’ pressure to stay home and help. The cycle would continue. I totally agree with Pope Francis when he said ,“People should not have children like rabbits.” We need to show responsible parenthood.
It means so much more coming from our Pope considering the church has long said have as many as possible. Indeed every child is a blessing, but the result of poverty and having many children has resulted in putting our beautiful children in grave danger.
I have loved doing this and my Sundays are incomplete unless I feed the kiddies. My grocery bills have actually gone down considerably even though I feed more because we had to switch from buying in the supermarket to buying in the palenke. That’s God’s mathematics, the more you feed, the less you spend! ▄
Just some tips to make it sustainable and doable for you
- Start small and let it grow so you are comfortable .
- Choose an area near you, so it’s sustainable. Usually if it’s too far away then you may have trouble continuing the feeding program.
- Make eating veggies fun. Bring games and books so kids have an enjoyable time while getting fed.
- Let others know so they too can share in the program! You will be surprised, you start it and many will want to help.
- Bring your children and get them involved , the experience is not only life changing but causes our young to practice gratitude, and feel more of value.
Truly we can make the world a better place, one plate at a time.
sesame lumpia stuffed with parsley, ground beef, hard boiled eggs and McCormick cumin
(This is a recipe for 50 kids !)
- 2kg ground beef or half pork and beef
- 1/4 cup sesame oil
- 10 calamansi
- 1 tsp cumin
- 3 cups parsley
- 15 hard boiled eggs
- 2 whole white onions (chopped finely )
- salt and pepper to taste
- lumpia wrap
- In large bowl mash hard boiled eggs, add finely chopped parsley, cumin, onions, calamansi, salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In a large pan, pour sesame oil and sauté the ground beef and pork.
- Add about 2 teaspoon salt and one teaspoon pepper.
- After about 20 minutes, turn off heat. Then add the meat to the parsley egg mixture. Then start to wrap meat in lumpia wrapper.
Try to do fun triangle like shapes. Then in nonstick pan, drizzle a bit of sesame and just lightly fry till golden. Your healthy protein and gulay packed lumpia is ready!
- 20 bright red tomatoes
- Juice from 10 squeezed calamansi
- 2 dashes of cayenne ( I would put much more but for kiddies this will do )
- In a blender,throw tomatoes, calamansi and cayenne in.
- Add a drizzle of salt and pepper. Blend. Voila! Awesome perfect dipping sauce . Plus I get the kiddies to eat more healthy veggies too.
The amazing Mccormick Rice Cooker CALDO
- 1 whole chicken (cut in pieces)
- 2 whole garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 1/4 cup sesame oil
- 5 hard boiled eggs
- 2 cups finely chopped leeks
- 3 packs McCormick
- Hainanese rice cookers
- In a huge rice cooker ( I use a 40 cup capacity one or it cooks 20 cups raw rice, note the McCormick packet has instructions for smaller amounts of rice )
- Sauté sesame , half a cup garlic , half a cup leeks, chicken and add to that the 3 packs hainanese rice rice cookers.
- Add to that about 9 cups of rice , then fill to about 3/4 full leaving room for rice to grow. Mix together and let cook normally. Stop when desired liquid for caldo is achieved.
- With large spoon , scoop chicken from the bottom so that it forms part of the topping, add to that remaining crispy fried garlic chopped leeks and sliced hard boiled eggs. A calamansi, patis siding is always a great idea.