Raise Me Up (Belize Non-Governmental Organization) is excited to announce that the San Pedro Food Bank program will be renamed in honor of the late benefactor Colleen Schwendinger of Rendezvous Restaurant. Her husband, Glenn Schwendinger decided that on the second anniversary of his wife Colleen's untimely death, her memory should have meaning. Through donations collected at "Colleen's Celebration of Life" memorial service, and from long-time friends Matt Russell, and Al and Janet Kruebbe, over $14,000 dollars will have been donated to Raise Me Up for its food bank program.
Currently operating as "San Pedro Food Bank", and located at the San Pedro Lions Den, the program will relocate to Hope Haven, a children's shelter and community outreach center located adjacent to Maya Island Air's terminal in San Pedro Town of Ambergris Caye. Upon its relocation, the name will be officially changed to "Colleen's Kitchen at San Pedro Food Bank".
"The San Pedro Food Bank currently feeds 40 needy families on the island by distributing non-perishable and dry goods on a weekly basis," says Brittney O'Daniel, board member of Raise Me Up. "There is a current problem that prohibits several of these families from being able to cook meals with the food they are provisioned, as they do not have a stove. Glenn reached out to us to present a check in Colleen's honor and asked to be an ongoing part of the operational decisions of the food bank, as this was something that his late wife had wanted to do on the island. That's when we knew this relationship was arranged by fate. We are ecstatic to be able to provide hot meals for the neediest families of the island, allowing them a chance to enjoy family time, and not worry how they are going to prepare their next meal."
Upon hearing more details about the effect Colleen had on the community and the humanitarian projects that she attached herself to, the board of Raise Me Up decided that it would be best to honor her and rename the food bank to "Colleen's Kitchen at the San Pedro Food Bank".
"With the participation of island restaurateurs, we had hoped to be able to create a sustainable delivery method to feed those in need," says Glenn. "Colleen loved the joy and enjoyment that feeding people brought to their lives, especially the children. To help operations at the food bank's hot kitchen at the children's shelter is the epitome of what Colleen would have desired for this community. To have her honored in this way means that her legacy will live on. Losing Colleen was a devastation to the community, but I am hoping that Colleen's Kitchen will draw volunteers and donations on a weekly basis so that her legacy may be continued one meal at a time."
"My wife (Janet) and I were very excited to hear about Colleen's Kitchen when we were in San Pedro a few weeks ago," stated Al Kruebbe, Ambergris Caye homeowner and long-time friends of Colleen and Glenn. "This is something we know Colleen would be very grateful for in as much as she made it her goal to try and feed everyone that was in need on the island. Janet and I have committed funds towards this much-needed project and hope everyone that is capable will do the same. We hope we can be there for the opening ceremony!"
Colleen's Kitchen will operate from the first floor of Hope Haven upon its launch, the island's first children's shelter and community outreach center. Hope Haven is a joint venture project of Raise Me Up, SHINE, and San Pedro Lions Club. For more information about "Colleen's Kitchen at San Pedro Food Bank", please visit https://facebook.com/sanpedrofoodbank. For more information about Hope Haven, please visit raisemeupbelize.org. To make a donation to Colleen's Kitchen at San Pedro Food Bank, please contact [email protected].