While Haiti remains in a security, economic and humanitarian crisis, Midwest Food Bank's Haiti, through prayer and passion, continues to find ways to bring food to hungry and starving Haitians. A record 4.9 million people are projected to be in acute hunger in Haiti – nearly half the country, including 1.8 million people in an emergency state.
We are very excited to report that we've partnered with Overture International (OI), creating a pilot food packaging program for Tender mercies distribution. Designed by dietitians to provide a full day's nutrition requirement, Tender Mercies meals are a mighty ally in the fight against food insecurity. Savory rice and beans are fortified with protein, seasonings, and essential vitamins and minerals. MFB typically ships Tender Mercies in its entirety to Haiti. But with this pilot program, we send the protein, seasonings, vitamins, and minerals, and OI purchases rice and beans from local Haitian farmers.
There are so many benefits to this joint program. We are supporting the Haitian economy with OI purchasing rice and beans locally, and hiring local Haitians to package Tender Mercies. We can ship significantly more of the remaining Tender mercies components by eliminating the rice and beans to fill a sea container. Results from the pilot look very promising, and as a result, we have committed to shipping our components of this Tender Mercies pilot to package 500,000 meals in 2023. 200,000 have already reached Haiti soil. We look forward to keeping you updated on the results of this pilot.
MFB Haiti food distribution at Citi Soleil
Adjacent to the PAP International Airport lies the slum area of Cite Soleil. An estimated 300,000 severely impoverished Haitians live in this slum area controlled and manipulated by rival gangs. Our partner, Cross to Light, operating out of the Delmas area of Port au Prince (PAP), is going into Haiti's darkest and most hopeless environments. They recently delivered food brought to Haiti by Midwest Food Bank's Haiti division into the Cite Soleil region, which fed many hungry and starving Haitians. This is a dangerous and risky task, and we are so appreciative of their partnership.
Through the partnership with Cross to Light, we were able to deliver desperately needed peanut butter into one of the largest prisons in PAP. Haiti prisons are dark, unimaginably inhospitable places where severe overcrowding requires inmates to sleep standing up, and now many are dying due to thirst and starvation. Haiti's National Penitentiary, built to hold 800 inmates, currently holds 4,000. It is believed many of these inmates are innocent of the crimes they have been charged with.
Please join the MFB Haiti division in praying for Haiti. Any financial support you can provide is deeply appreciated as we find creative ways to get food into these desperate areas. Click here to make your one-time or repeat donation.