SINT MAATEN (WEYMOUTH HILL) - The Victory Temple COGOP’s soup kitchen is the most recent program to benefit from a fruitful partnership between the SMDF and WIB. Most recently, the soup kitchen received a new 6-burner stove and refrigerator. These new appliances will support the kitchen’s weekly feeding activities where they cook and distribute warm meals to persons who find themselves in especially vulnerable situations.
With the COVID-19 pandemic having sharply increased the numbers of unemployed, St. Maarten is seeing a domino effect in various communities, whereby persons who were already in vulnerable situations before the pandemic are now in even more precarious situations.
Alongside many other NGOs and non-profit organizations working in the area of food relief on St. Maarten, the Victory Temple church started with their soup kitchen program after Hurricane Irma in late 2017 with the help of private business donors and dedicated volunteers. The soup kitchen has since been offering hot soup and warm meals and since the pandemic began, they have been catering to 300+ people per week.
“Just as we saw after Irma, faith-based organizations and many local and international NGOs are hard at work with programs aimed at alleviating poverty and softening the blows attributed to COVID-19. In the true spirit of collaboration, Victory Temple works with volunteers and other NGOs to assist in safely distributing the meals to an increased number of persons in need and shut-in persons in the various districts,” said Program and Development Manager at the St. Maarten Development Fund (SMDF).
The donation of the commercial stove and refrigerator can now allow for Victory Temple to scale up the operation and offer even more warm meals during the week, instead of only on Saturdays. The donation was made possible by The Windward Islands Bank Ltd. who earlier this year presented SMDF with a NAF 110,000 donation aimed at COVID-19 relief.