Adventist agency benefits immigrant population twice a day [Photo Credit: ADRA Brazil/Courtesy of the South American Division]

General Conference

Humanitarian Agency Offers Free Meals to Needy People in Roraima

Through May, more than 180,000 meals have satisfied the hunger of thousands of beneficiaries

Brazil | ADRA Brazil

In recent years, due to the {social-economic?} crisis in Venezuela and the COVID-19 pandemic, Roraima has seen the effects of hunger and homelessness on its streets. The number of homeless people has increased considerably. Without a way to meet their needs, the population suffers from food shortages.

Fábio Salles, the national director of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), points out that the institution has made every effort to deliver food to those who are hungry. “We know this is paramount for these families, so we emphasize food security campaigns,” he says.

He adds that the greatest example of this great need is Venezuelan immigrants. “Often, they only eat once a day. If it weren't for our projects, the situation could be worse. We need to unite to feed those who are hungry.

Hot Meals Project

Thinking to alleviate the situation, in 2018, ADRA launched the “Hot Meals” project. The initiative serves about 2,000 people daily through a plate of hot food, from Sunday to Thursday, in different places, such as the Boa Vista bus station and shelters where homeless and undocumented people live, who end up not having access to employment and housing to produce their own food.

Natássia de Azevedo, the project coordinator, explains that to ensure these foods reach those in need, around ten people contribute to the preparation of meals (lunch and dinner). “The entire process is monitored by a nutritionist, from the preparation of the menu to the beneficiary's dish. This monitoring exists to guarantee the quality of the food and whether, in fact, it will supply the nutritional diet of those who will consume it,” she points out.

The diet is balanced and follows the ovolactovegetarian regime. The resources come from ADRA, which also counts on donations from the community and commercial establishments. Even in the face of major challenges, with this initiative, the ADRA Roraima team served more than 180,000 meals between January and May, 2021.

In addition, the entity develops activities that offer opportunities through other actions.

Help that Transforms

Venezuelan Azul Aguinagalde came to Brazil in search of a better quality of life. With no money, no job, and his mother facing a health problem at the time, he made the street his place of residence. The immigrant was one of the beneficiaries of a food card made available by ADRA.

“I took care of my mother, who had cancer, and this help was essential,” she says. In June 2020, Azul lost her mother and was left alone in the country. She says that amid the difficulties, her life underwent a transformation. “I received a message from the ADRA team inviting me to volunteer. I took my resume and was accepted. I put my heart into the project. I could do for others what they did for me. I was hired! Today, I have a formal contract, and it is a joy to bring food to people,” she concludes, moved to emotion.

This article was originally published on the South American Division’s Portuguese news site

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