Soup kitchens provide nutritious meals to thousands of vulnerable families in the poorest areas of Collique, an underserved area on the outskirts of Lima, Peru. Among the most-needy people are those who suffer from physical impairments that do now allow them to find a job with living wages to support their families. This is the case of the Rodriguez family, where both parents, Jose Luis and Paty, endure severe eye issues that seriously limit their ability to earn enough money to provide for their children ages 15, 10, and 8. Elevated unemployment rates, discrimination in the job market, among other issues, negatively impact their income in a city where the percentage of informal employment reaches 66% of the population older than 18 years old.
By God’s grace, the Rodriguez is connected are connected to a local soup kitchen called “Blessings from God,” supported by Operacion San Andres, who helps relieve their financial struggles providing free daily meals for the parents and their children. This soup kitchen is located in one of the poorest areas in Collique and provides food for more than 30 families around the area. Had it not been for this blessing, the Rodriguez family wouldn’t be able to feed their children with the limited income they get from selling products on the streets or giving massages to neighbors to earn a meager $5 per session. In addition to the daily nutritional support provided by the soup kitchen, this family receives periodic food donations from OSA to help them relieve their needs. “We are disabled people who would not be able to make it without OSA’s support to our family,” Jose Luis stated.
OSA’s staff member Noe Olortegui is constantly visiting them to make sure they stay safe, while connecting new resources for them to improve their situation. OSA supports more than 69 soup kitchens in Collique, benefiting more than 4500 people in need each day. This contribution would not be possible without friends and supporters from the USA and other countries. “We would like to give thanks to OSA for taking care of us. You give us what is the most important, daily food for our children. Without it, we would be worried and concerned about their growth as they are still children,” Paty stated.