Because so many lovely people participated in Rice and Beans month, we received an installment of funds for the purchase of food for families in our program. We decided to spend it as quickly as possible. What good is money for food when people are hungry?
Leah and I sat down to sketch out a budget for the food money, and were quite impressed with ourselves at our ability to discuss the market price of salt and plastic bags and debate the practicalities of buying rice versus maize versus ground maize flour. We decided to take the simplest, most nutrion-packed course we could, buying maize flour (unga) and beans (maharage).
Just like with the Christmas money, we saw God miraculously expand our resources. We had an unprecedentedly high exchange rate, and the pastor made a connection with a new grinding mill who agreed to sell us the maize flour at distributor price, which saved us 450,000 shillings ($345 or so) which we used to buy more unga. Our regular beans supplier gave us a great price and even threw in some extra beans and arranged for delivery. They delivered the 1,875 kilos of flour and the 525+ kilos of beans, and Leah and I wrote each child's name on a bag of flour, then, while we conducted a parents' meeting, Leah and Jeff meticulously measured and weighed 75 bags of beans with 7 kilos in each.
Aside from three parents who were sick and two kids who came without their parents, there were representatives from all of the families, and they were so happy to receive the food. Some of the families have multiple children in the program, so they took their first share of unga and beans, and will get to return when they've used it in order to take their second, or in one case third, share. We have several families on our waiting list, so each of the families donated a bit of their unga to give to the waiting list families and we also gave them some of the extra beans.
After everyone received, we still have about 20 kilos of beans and about 20 kilos of unga left for emergencies in the coming months. We really thank God for this blessing. I could tell you so many stories, 75 in fact, of the difference this will make in these families, but the only words we, the staff, volunteers, kids and parents, have right now are "Asante, Mungu awabariki sana!" Thank you, God bless you all very much.