- Press Release - The sun shines bright on the island of Caye Caulker as businesses and individuals unite to form a feeding program that supports much of the island’s residents that are in need. Caye Caulker has always been and remains COVID-19 free. However, with no tourists here to enjoy the tropical paradise, even to date as Belize has opened itself up, the unemployment is in the 85% range.
The concept of Caye Caulker Soup Kitchen began with Peggy Clark, the owner of Bondi Bar on Caye Caulker. Back in early March Peggy recognized exactly what the impact of the virus meant to the island and alongside a number of friends, they started working on the essential mechanics to get the feeding program up and running. Within weeks, the reality of the situation sunk in and many islanders joined the task force as the enormity of the demand required more volunteers to be able to able to achieve their goals!
To this day, Caye Caulker Soup Kitchen is made up of 11 restaurants, 50 volunteers all with the goal to provide hearty and nutritious meals for residents in need daily. Again and again community members work their magic and give selflessly of themselves by going fishing, baking, shopping and prepping for the program which has created this well oiled machine that feeds up to 350 persons a day.
The Caye Caulker Soup Kitchen volunteers remain unique with the large number of contributors, working together to support each other – epitomizing a heart warming tale of camaraderie in Paradise.
Unfortunately, we do not expect things to return to normal any time soon. Some people were already living day by day and this huge surge in unemployment has resulted in many being unable to provide even the basics for their families. The Soup Kitchen’s size and organized set up is planning for the long term, as we have no idea when this insanity will end. The objective is to ensure that at minimum those residents on their list find comfort in knowing they will receive food six days a week to ensure the limited monies that these people still have can be stretched to bills such as light and water that do not vanish away either.
CCSK funding engine has been formalized with a GoFundMe that has currently reached over $35,000US. The reality of one hot meal a day is not enough, and the Soup Kitchen has decide to include an additional items that can be eaten at the recipient’s choice (either dinner or breakfast) and this will be their second meal of the day. In order to provide this additional food, CCSK raised their GoFundMe goal to $55,000US. www.gofundme.com/f/caye-caulker-soup-kitchen-for-covid19-relief.
Caye Caulker has always held a special place in all visitor’s hearts, whether they are Belizeans, expats or tourists, with the island’s unrivaled beauty and its local charm. However, as we face the Corona virus, villagers have created an outreach of love and support for each and every Islander that is as inspiring as any story across the world. It is a labor of love, love for the island and its population and working together we make it through these unprecedented times.
As we say here on Caye Caulker, “It Takes A Village To Feed A Village”