BIS #6338 Don Bosco Nerul 'Community Fridge' demand grows
by Diana D'Souza with Fr Barnabe D'Souza for BISMumbai
Don Bosco Seawoods-Nerul, inaugurated a 'Community Fridge' initiative on 22 January 2021, in collaboration with the NGO 'Team Spreading Smiles'. The purpose of the fridge was to have it stocked with free cooked food and bottled water so that ‘anyone and everyone’ who is hungry can open it, get a meal, without asking questions or losing their self-respect.
In the inaugural month, this fridge catered to around 25- 30 people a day initially, as people came to know they could pick up a food packet without questions; today 120-140 hungry persons come on a daily basis. The numbers speak for themselves, from 600+ in the month of February to 900+ in the month of March and in these past months of April-May has reached 3,500. Those that benefit are from different walks of life as the pandemic throws up further difficulties to obtain food. Rickshaw drivers, casual labourers, their children left at home to fend for themselves, traffic-light street vendors, handicapped, etc. At ‘lunch time’ scores of people come to pick up a food packet, sit around in open spaces and have a freshly made or warmed-up hot meal.
This Community Fridge with its microwave heating facilities, has given hope to the people in the neighbourhood, who would otherwise go hungry. A few of these remarked: “I come here every day for food, as I don’t have even utensils to cook,” says a widow; “I’m very happy when there’s biryani and Frooti in the fridge as it is when it is someone’s ‘Happy Birthday’, says a young boy who sells garbage bags at the signal; a lady who prepares the food packets said, "Preparing the food for the fridge has given me a livelihood;” “You are from that Don Box, where there is a free food fridge? You’ll will get a lot of blessings sir,” says a young barber, while another person of the neighbourhood said, "I have everyone sick at home this Don Bosco fridge, has helped me take food for my family.”
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