We are pleased to announce Hands of Love and Caye Caulker Soup Kitchen are working together to feed the less fortunate families of Caye Caulker.
A special thanks to the efforts of Andy Horton for kicking off the fundraising efforts during this Covidl9 crisis. Caye Caulker Soup Kitchen and Hands of Love each will receive one half of the PayPal donations.
Thanks to Bondi Bar and Lazy Lizard restaurants and many volunteers that immediately stepped up to begin serving meals, providing bags of groceries, and trying to make sure the island survives the drastic financial impact due to no tourism.
Hands of Love, spearheaded by James Lynskey, has provided Caye Caulker Soup Kitchen with a portion of donations received. Together both funds will be able to better serve Caye Caulker.
Caye Caulker Soup Kitchen plans to launch a GoFundMe later this week. We hope everyone that has visited, that lives here and even those that have friends and family here, will consider donating to both GoFundMe accounts, in kind contributions, volunteering and/or support.
It takes a village to feed a village! Facebook page for The Caye Caulker Soup Kitchen
It takes a village to feed a village, several volunteers and businesses have joined forces to serve meals to all those who are now without any income to provide a meal to themselves or their families. Being a tourist destination, Caye Caulker is feeling the economic effect of the global impact of Covid-19. Any assistance given to this feeding program would greatly be appreciated as the funds will be used to provide a meal to someone. We thank you in advance for any contribution made.
ALSO: Are you picking up a meal Thursday, 4/23 at the Happy Lobster? We would greatly appreciate it if you could bring a food container with you. Our goal is to provide as many meals as possible while stretching our donation dollars as far as they can go. Every bit helps and the use of reusable containers is good for our planet! HAPPY EARTH DAY!!! Thank you for making a difference!
Volunteers from the Caye Caulker Soup Kitchen are gathering at the Happy Lobster to serve meals to the needy. Today is the first day recipients are being asked to swing by and collect the meals. There will be NO DELIVERIES TODAY, peeps. Bring your own container to collect food.
Happy Thursday! Reminder: Meals are to be PICKED UP today at the Happy Lobster. Bahia: 11:00-11:45 Village 11:45- 12:30 Let's keep social distancing! Thank you Happy Lobster and ALL of our volunteers!
Menu: Escabeche & Corn Tortillas (please bring containers) Pick Up Location: Bondi Bar & Bistro, Front Street Bahia: 11:45am-12:30pm Village:12:30pm-1:15pm
Note: We realized it isn't always possible, but we are asking the community to help us adhere to current guidelines by only sending one person per family to the pick up location. Thank you for your continued cooperation.
We are able to do what we do because of the continued support that we are receiving from our neighbors. Thanks to ALL who have donated, including: "The Fisherrmen": Eugene Bul Jose Cal Daniel Harris Roque Badillo Jordan Lopez The Belize Chocolate Company for supplying our volunteers with a tasty treat.
Chinatown Market for supplying our volunteers with Gatorade. (Stay hydrated folks, it's HOT out there!)
Mr. Ramon Reyes Jr. for sending more and more bread out from Belize City.
Blaine & Phyllis and Barry & Lindsey for baking bread and cookies.
Lexy Larsen for her mad baking skills!
Our Anonymous donor from San Pedro for their latest donation of 300 lbs of rice.
John Casiato is the man that preps and make sure everything will run smoothly with each hosting restaurant in the morning before people arrive!
The beginning of this program he did it all. We take this opportunity to thank him as he lives in San Pedro and just got stuck here after they closed that island down. Our islanders appreciate your determination to help us during these uncertain times.
The fishermen - we can’t thank you enough for your efforts! It takes a village to feed a village!
Thursday, April 30th Meal Pick ups Location: Food Republic Meals prepared by Alan Chan, Auntie's and Belize Diving Services Times: Village: 11:00-11:45 am Bahia: 11:45 am-12:30 pm Thank you for bringing your containers!
Wednesday, May 6th meal .pick ups Location: Carribean Fusion ( previously Dirty Mc Nasty's) Times: Village: 11:00am - 11:45am Bahia: 11: 45am 12;30 pm Every container and bag you bring with you helps our mIssion to feed those in need. Thank you! "it takes a village to feed a village"
Sunday, May 10th, Meal pick ups Location: Barefoot Caribe! Thank you for joining our family of restaurants! Time: Village: 11:00am - 11:45am Bahia: 11:45am- 12: 30 pm Thanks for bringing your containers and bags!
Monday, May 11th meal pick ups Location: Bondi Bar and Bistro...back to our roots. Times: Village: 11:00am - 11:45 am Bahia: 11:45am - 12:30 pm We sure do appreciate everyone bringing containers and bags!
The Barrier Reef Sports Bar & Grill has always been synonymous with Fridays on Caye Caulker. During this new normal, it means tomorrow the crew and the rest of the CCSK volunteers will be serving those in need here on our island. Friday, May 15th Meal Pick ups Location: Barrier Reef Sports Bar Times: Village: 11:00am - 11:45am Bahia: 11:45am - 12:30pm
Sunday, May 17th, Meal pick ups Henry from Amigo's Kitchen will be serving up lunch at his NEW venue on the island, Summer Island, (formerly Amor y Cafe) on Front Street. How exciting! We wish him much success and appreciate all that he does for the CCSK! Times: Village: 11:00am - 11:45am Bahia: 11:45am- 12:30pm Keep bringing your containers and bags. That is a BIG help!
A news clip from the Voice of Caye Caulker featuring our Soup Kitchen
Friday, May 22nd Meal Pick ups Location: Barrier Reef Sports Bar and Grill Times: Village: 11:00am - 11:45am Bahia: 11:45am - 12:30pm
Thursday we hit a milestone! We served our 10,000th cooked meal!
Time for an update about numbers and finances.
A little recap: At the beginning of this project, we promised transparency and to be good stewards of your donations. We also promised 100% of your dollars to be used only for food and directly associated costs (propane, utilities, barge fees, etc). Of course we’re keeping this promise, we do not pay any staff member, we do not pay volunteers. We promised you that we would not exceed our maximum cost of 2.50 BZD (1.25 USD) per meal.
The current situation: We’ve been able to keep our cost per meal even lower than the maximum of 2.50, and are currently providing meals for 2.02 BZD (1.01 USD) per plate, covering all our costs. Thanks to the generous In-Kind donations, we've been able to keep the costs low and stretch our dollar.
Last week we launched the 'second meal items' part of our project. We're adding a few extra items to every meal, these items can be eaten the next morning for breakfast or later in the day. It can be a piece of bread with a boiled egg, a Johnny cake with a banana, a meat pie with an orange, etc. We're doing our best to source these items locally, and will buy products like meat pies, Johnny cakes and Creole buns from the many talented bakers here on the Caye. We'd love to support them by including their products in our program! The maximum cost for the 'second meal items' is 1.00 BZ (0.50 USD) per person per day.
At this moment, Thursday May 21th, we've received 45,000 USD on our GoFundMe and 8,557 USD cash donations. We have also received an estimated 2,000 of donated product. Our spending to date is about 10,000 USD, this means there is about 43,500 USD left, minus transaction costs of transferring these funds from GoFundMe to Belize, we have around 42,000 USD left to spend. These funds will allow us to continue our program through July and into the first few weeks of August, however, we do know that will have to continue our program beyond that time. Our current GoFundMe goal is set to reach the end of August, and in order to do that, we need a little bit more of your help.
We know the people of Caye Caulker are strong, resilient, and innovative, and we trust that they will find their way. But at this moment, right after the big shock of loosing all tourism, the need is still very high. While people are adjusting and finding new ways to make in an income and/or preparing for a slow return of tourism, we’d like to keep providing support during this transition period to take at least one worry off of their minds.
It's been over 3 months since we served our first meal! Can you believe it?
On April 7th the very first Soup Kitchen meal was served. 47 meals were prepared that day. The next day we prepared 114 meals, and the following days the numbers quickly rose to the 300+ meals that we still serve nowadays.
It really has been an amazing three months. We've learned many things about each other and our community. We've felt humbled, blessed, stressed at times and beaten down, excited and grateful. But mostly we've felt honored that in the midst of this time of difficulty and struggle, we've been able to witness the BEST in humanity.
Support has come from near and far, from expected and unexpected corners. But most of all, this amazing little island is overcoming difficulties through a sense of community and collaboration. A little speck of light during hard times. And to all those who have helped in any way, we want to say THANK YOU, from the bottom of our hearts.
- WHAT IS THE CURRENT SITUATION -
We continue to do what we've been doing, providing meals for 300+ people. The situation on Caye Caulker remains difficult. Fortunately, some can find a bit of work here and there. People are getting inventive, creative and are doing the absolute best they can. But on an island where 90% of jobs were in tourism, and in a country that has one of the highest ratios of tourism as a percentage of GDP in the world, things simply don't change overnight.
At the moment many are struggling to catch up on bills from the last 3 months, which is not easy even when finding a bit of work. Bills continue to come in, rent is due, and children are going back to school next month; everything costs money. So, the least that we can do is take one worry away and continue to provide one of life's basic needs: Food.
The Soup Kitchen has been a well-oiled machine for months. We continue to keep detailed logs of our daily number of meal pick-ups, every penny coming in or going out is accounted for, our costs are broken down per category, we keep a close eye on the fluctuation of our per-meal-cost (which is still lower than projected), etc. Analyzing these numbers makes us operate even more efficiently and allows us to strech our dollar the best we can.
- AND WHAT ABOUT THE FUTURE? -
Though our initial goal was set to run our program for three months, our current finances will allow us to continue this project until mid/late September (due to careful planning and stretching our dollar). Though we trust in the ability and creativity of the islanders to find their way, we know that right now the need is still there.
As we said before, economies don't change overnight, jobs don't appear out of thin air, but people do need to catch up on their bills while savings are running out. We trust that at some point tourism will return and/or people will find other ways to earn a living, but in the meantime, we will do our absolute best to continue to provide support.
We will also continue to monitor the situation on the Caye closely, and if we see that the situation as a whole is improving, we will start to scale back our program.
- ARE YOU STILL LOOKING FOR DONATIONS? -
Yes, donations are always welcome. Though we have reached our GoFundMe goal, all additional donations will allow us to assist more islanders and/or prolong our program. All funds coming into this island right now are stimulating the island economy. We carefully consider our buying sources and try to stimulate the local economy on the Caye whenever we can.