Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention.
Pres. Peter’s plan to bring cooked food to families in towns and cities around the metro led him to do some pencil pushing with numbers to see how far his budget would go. He asked for quotations from suppliers, for packed meals that are filling and nutritious.
He gasped at the quotations—too costly. Is there a way to serve substantial meals that wouldn’t drain the budget, he wondered.
Pres. Peter had the answer: YES! His solution to a budgetary problem was to plan, prepare and pack the meals ourselves! It wasn’t an “invention” but a solution only a problem solver would think of.
The plan was quickly set to motion. They requested and received permission from Stepping Stone School Exec. Dir. Dayal Nandwani to use the school’s huge and well-equipped state-of-the-art kitchen; they invited members of the RCM-sponsored Rotaract Club of Makati to help in the preparation of the meals, with the staff making sure the inventory of meals would be sufficient.
The meals would consist of a cup of boiled rice, one hard-boiled egg, and one viand—choice of pork tocino, longanisa, hotdog, spam or the special, the Paul Harris Fried Chicken. Filling and nutritious meals, as planned. They named the project “Paul Harris Kitchen,” after the founder of Rotary.
On November 14, after the Typhoon Rolly relief mission in Albay, they launched the Paul Harris Kitchen with the delivery of packed meals to 500 individuals at the UP Arboretum and Tumana, Marikina. The distribution was done in cooperation with the Concerned Artists of the Philippines in support of UP’s Bayanihan Alay sa Sambayanan Project.
The following day, they delivered meals to 518 individuals in Kasiglahan Village, Rodriguez, Rizal, also in partnership with UP group.
On the 16th, 592 meals were distributed to the Jesus de la Peña and Ledigario Elementary School in Marikina on the recommendation of the ABS-CBN Foundation.
On the 21st, after the Typhoon Ulyssses relief mission in Cagayan, they prepared and packed another batch of meals. This time, they were joined in the kitchen by Gov. Cha Cha Camacho, PP Jun Jun Dayrit and Dir. Chris Ferareza, who donned aprons to fry pork tocino and pack the food in environment-friendly cardboard boxes. They travelled three hours to reach their destination, even boarding a makeshift boat to deliver meals to 530 individuals in Brgy Daraitan, Tanay, Rizal. The mission was conducted in coordination with RC Midtown Diliman and Mulat Media through Sec. Meric Mara.
Last Sunday, the 22nd, they did another PH Kitchen run, their fifth, bringing packed meals to 547 people in three sites in Marikina -- Filipinas Village Gym, Burelak Street and Malanday Elementary School. This time, PP Reggie & Sue Ann Nolido helped with the preparation and packing of the meals. We note that the elder Manzano children, Mico, Zoe and Denise, were there on certain days, too, helping out with various tasks like everyone else.
Since its launch on November 14, the Paul Harris Kitchen has brought 2,700 meals to as many men, women and children rendered hungry by the typhoons that swept through our country in recent weeks.
We would like to thank the following sponsors and supporters for their invaluable help: Stepping Stone and Dayal Nandwani for allowing us the use of their kitchen and H100 van to transport the goods and our volunteers to various destinations; Lorenzana Food through Vic Floresca for the donation of sacks of rice, bottled water and condiments; and paper boxes from Ben Yam of Fortune Packaging.
Knowing that recovery from a tragedy of the magnitude we have seen would take months if not years, Pres. Peter is thinking of carrying on with the feeding missions and resuming kitchen operations whenever the need arises.