Food needs for the underprivileged have multiplied since local businesses closed.
For a group of Seventh-day Adventist volunteers serving on the streets of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, assisting the underprivileged is not new. For more than two years, they have taken part in the Adventist-sponsored CASA Esperança project. The initiative provides lunch, snacks, and psychological and spiritual care to the area’s homeless.
In recent days, as local businesses were forced to close temporarily because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the needs have increased. Team volunteers have now received reinforcements of health professionals from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), the local Public Defender’s Office, and other professionals. Together, the team has managed to serve 700 people in a single day. In the third week of March, 2020, they catered to the various needs of almost 2,000 people.
- Part of the Seventh-day Adventist volunteer team that served hot meals to approximately 700 people in Rio de Janeiro on March 24, 2020. [Photo: South American Division News]
- On March 24, 2020, a team of Seventh-day Adventist volunteers served a hot meal to around 700 people in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. For many of the recipients, it was the only meal of the day. The volunteers have been serving soup every evening and a lunch on Saturdays. [Photo: South American Division News]
The initiative seeks to serve soup daily at 6:00 p.m. and lunch on Saturdays. According to organizers, all foods are prepared in compliance with government standards of hygiene and cleanliness. Volunteers wear gloves and masks as they serve those in need, and social distancing regulations are followed.
Food cooking and distribution are combined in a single place, which also accepts donations to fund the project. The team usually starts cooking at around 10:00 a.m., and they begin serving the meals by 2:00 p.m.