NASSAU, BAHAMAS — It was not the usual Thursday or Sunday distribution, instead it was on a Monday and Wednesday when volunteers from the Bahamas Feeding Network (BFN) loaded up their vans and transported piping hot meals to the Ranfurly Homes for Children and the Fox Hill Community Center respectively. They were answering the call to assist persons evacuated from Abaco and Grand Bahama because of Hurricane Dorian’s devastating impact of the northern islands.
“When we got word that children from the Grand Bahama Children’s Home were being welcomed at the Ranfurly Homes for Children in Nassau, we immediately made contact with them to determine what their needs were and how the Bahamas Feeding Network could help,” said Philip Smith, executive director of BFN. “We delivered 50 plates of curry chicken, white rice and corn.”
While the numbers were much smaller than the 2,100 meals on Thursdays or 3,400 meals on Sunday that are prepared and distributed, the recipients were no less grateful. 150 plates filled with rice, chicken, vegetables and salad were also delivered to the persons taking shelter at the Fox Hill Community Centre.
“I lost everything, couldn’t save nothing,” said one evacuee from Dundas Town, Abaco who was filled with uncertainty of the duration of time she would be housed in the shelter after arriving to Nassau via a Bahamas Ferries vessel. “It was hard, but thank God we made it through. I wouldn’t want anyone to experience what we experienced.”
“We stand ready to supplement the food needs at these centers and others so at no moment would the residents be plagued with the thought of where their next meal would come from,” Smith said. “For many of these people, our brothers and sisters, who’ve already experienced such incredible loss of property, and in some cases the life of family members and loved ones, we sympathize with them. We are definitely in this for the long haul.”
This week’s distribution comes days after BFN was on the ground in Grand Bahama assisting with the delivery, through its network of churches, soup kitchens and feeding centres on the island, of some 20,000 daily meals courtesy of Royal Caribbean.
Founded in 2013, the Bahamas Feeding Network has grown steadily. Today it preps, cooks and distributes more than 5,500 hot meals a week through a network of more than 100 churches, soup kitchens and feeding organization and 500 parcels of groceries. Additionally, more than $500,000 in food vouchers have been distributed over the years.