They carry out their mission with only the light from a few headlamps in the predawn darkness. Jokes and laughter have ceased, replaced with a sense of urgency to get in and get out quickly, seen by as few as possible.
With an estimated 1.3 million people now homeless in Port-Au-Prince, edible food and clean water are precious commodities making food distribution a potentially dangerous venture. Nonetheless AIM has committed to this undertaking.
Throughout the past week, teams have worked to prepare food bags to help alleviate some of the widespread hunger in the communities they work within. Each meal costs approximately one US dollar to provide and evenings have been filled with bagging enough rice and beans to distribute 3,000 meals to needy families.
After the bags are filled, team members create an assembly line and load them into the back of the dust covered 15 passenger van. With the AIM car magnets removed and the food safely loaded they wait.
Small groups of five to six, including a translator, wake long before sunrise to deliver the food to designated drop off points. Supplies are left with pastors whom we have created relationships with and trust to distribute the meals to those families who are in need.
This is a strategy that has been implemented for a couple of reasons. First it helps ensure the safety of those working to drop off the food, keeping participants from being overrun. With such desperation one can quickly become surrounded and in danger. Secondly with pastors in charge of distribution those receiving the aid do not see it coming from a certain organization or the wealthy foreigners instead it is seen as the local church helping meet the needs of the community. These pastors know best the needs of their communities and AIM is working with them to help meet these community essentials.
Below is a short clip from Wednesday morning’s drop off…