For those currently signed-up for the Soup Kitchen.
It’s time for a change. A few weeks from now will mark 6 months since the start of the Soup Kitchen. These last 6 months have been a wonderous rollercoaster, riding on the continuous waves of change due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We’ve seen the strength, beauty and generosity of our community, and it’s been a joint effort of amazing kitchen volunteers, including those working tirelessly behind the scenes, and those that have donated, baked, cleaned, carried boxes or given us that bit of moral support. Together we have taken one worry away from the minds of our islanders.
Now it’s time to move into a new phase of our operations. Starting October 3rd, the Soup Kitchen will transition into a new program: Caye Caulker Strong Food Pantry. The daily meal service will come to an end, and in its place we will be providing a weekly grocery bag for families and individuals. This new program will primarily be funded through a generous private donation by the Denver Foundation, a truly amazing and unexpected gift to our island! Any Soup Kitchen funds that are left over will go to the purchasing of food items for the grocery bags and anyone who is currently receiving meals from the Soup Kitchen can automatically receive a weekly grocery bag.
WHAT MOTIVATES THE CHANGE FROM A HOT MEAL TO A GROCERY BAG?
A combination of factors: The opening of the international airport on October 1st, the news that restaurants will try to re-open and as a result be limited in their time to cook for the Soup Kitchen, the feedback we’ve gathered from our community (both from meal recipients and other members of the community) and the organizational challenge associated with the high number of people we’re currently cooking meals for.
Though there is still a need, we also see some work opportunities and we trust in the ability of the islanders to reinvent and find new ways to provide. This new program is a simple step towards more self-reliance. The aforementioned reasons combined with the availability of a new fund, makes the timing perfect to transition to this new program.
WHAT ABOUT YOUR FINANCES AND YOUR GOFUNDME?
A week and a half from now, on the last day of our daily meal program, we will have provided over 46,000 hot meals and over 37,000 second meal items (fruit, bread, meat pies, etc.) We’ve managed to keep our actual cost per meal at 2.37 BZD (versus the 2.50 BZD maximum set in April) and keep our actual cost for the daily second meal items at 0.89 BZD (versus the 1.00 BZD set maximum.)
All remaining funds after the last day of meal service, will be turned into food product for the ‘Caye Caulker Strong’ grocery bags. Because of the availability of this new private fund, we have readjusted our GoFundMe goal and have closed incoming donations. If you still wish to donate to Caye Caulker, then you can donate to one of the many beautiful projects on the island. Below is a small list. If you know of any other projects on the island, feel free to send us a message.
Support our Tour Guides without a job: https://www.gofundme.com/f/covid19-support-for-caye-caulker-tour-guides
Support our young mothers and babies: https://www.gofundme.com/f/caye-caulker-baby-pantry
Support one of our local restaurants struggling during the pandemic: https://www.gofundme.com/f/zqyr8u-di-1-and-only-belizean-flava
Support the Caye Caulker Humane Society: https://www.cayecaulkerhumanesociety.com/securedonationspage.htm
Support our High School, Ocean Academy: https://www.globalgiving.org/donate/5950/caye-caulker-ocean-academy/
Support one of our Caye Caulker residents who needs urgent heart surgery: https://www.gofundme.com/f/stephan-bernard-heart-surgery-fund
Support one of our local islanders with her medical expenses: https://www.gofundme.com/f/debra-sooknanans-medical-expenses-fund
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR CAYE CAULKER?
Unfortunately, we don’t have a crystal ball. In this ever-changing world it’s difficult to say what the future holds. One thing we do know is that the people of Caye Caulker are innovative and resilient, and we are certain that they will emerge on the other side stronger than ever. The Caye Caulker Strong program is not there to make Caye Caulker strong, it’s there to emphasize the strength that’s already here.
To everyone who has donated in the past 6 months, thank you, we could not have run this program without your generosity.
To everyone who has been involved in the last 6 months in any way, thank you! Each and every one of you contributed in your own way, and have helped make this program what it turned out to be. You can give yourself a big pat on the back, we’ve served 46,000 hot meals and 37,000 ‘second meal’ items!