We started the Mother’s Meal movement by distributing food Kits to five families in Project Vision Rural Campus in the outskirts of Bangalore on the 16th of July, 2020. By year end, we have expanded the movement to reach 3000 families across five countries to ensure food at hungry tables. By April 2021, we have completed nine months of sustained support to the families. Objective of Mother’s Meal was to help families to manage the economic crisis of COVID by a sustained support to the families with the basic need for food by providing them a Mother’s Meal Kit with essential items to supplement the family income costing 500 rupees. (7 US$).
On 15th of August, Indian Independence Day, we reached out to 1000 families spread across all 36 States and UTs in India through the grass root level agencies who directly work with families that are hungry. They include NGO’s, religious groups, institutions and committed social workers. While the CDI in Mumbai reaches out to help the HIV affected, AIFO in Bangalore supports the leprosy cured families. When Fr Thomas at Guntur in AP provides the kit to the old beggars at the Railway Station, Mr Soy Joseph in Tamil Nadu ensures food for fifty families of blind persons in Tamil Nadu. Every one of the 1000 families across the country are special needs families. This is now continued for nine months, on 15th of every month – Mother’s Meal Day !
We went global on 5th September on Mother Teresa’s feast. Claretians in Macau distributed Survival Food Kit to 50 migrant families to inaugurate the Mother’s Meal program in Macau. Fr Jijo Kandamkulathil cmf, a founder member of the Mother’s Meal program, took the initiative to reach out to 50 most vulnerable families in Macau with a 25 US Dollar kit. They have done the distribution four months now. Our second global destination was Nepal, with the help of Hongkong Claretian group. We started on September 20th to support a total of 150 families in three places – 75 in Kathmandu, that includes 50 from a leprosy colony and 50 in Chitwan and 25 in Palpa, many of whom are persons with disabilities and widows.
One of the major developments we had was our tie up with Distress Management Collective, India based in Delhi through which we could extend our Mother’s Meal to be provided to 1400 families with palliative care patients, covering 100 families from all 14 Districts, launched on October, 2nd. We completed three months with December distribution. Moving beyond South Asian region, we extended the movement to Africa in October. On 24th we started the program with the Claretians with the support of Macau group. 50 families are supported in Jinja Diocese and another 50 in Mbarara Diocese, two months completed now..
On 23nd of December we started with supporting about 50 families in South Sudan, where people are living in one of the most challenging situations with 6.9 million living in hunger. Claretians there will coordinate the efforts with the support of the Macau group, where each Kit will cost 50 US$. Thus totally we cover over 3000 families. All of them are families in distress, mostly from the background of disabilities, terminal illness, widows or elderly without any support. With the surge of cases due to second wave of COVID in India, there are requests from more families for support.
Being a Family to Family support, many families across the globe are coming forward to support this program, helping families to deal with the economic fall out of COVID. Some companies and organisations are also supporting us.
Thanks everyone for your support and partnership with us.
Let us move on. LET NO ONE BE HUNGRY.
For Mother’s Meal Team
Fr George Kannanthanam
28th April, 2021