USJ-R launches feeding program for the poor
Hungry street dwellers around the university in downtown Cebu City will be provided with a free meal at least once a week.
This after the University of San Jose-Recoletos launched the Lamesa ni San Jose (St. Joseph’s Table), a food-sharing program intended for the poor living within the vicinity of the university, last March 20.
“Hunger is still the number one problem in the country,” said Institute of Non-Formal Education and Community Outreach Program (Infecop) director Bro. Jaazeal Jakosalem, OAR.
“This is our response to the problem. We just cannot close our eyes,” he added.
During the launching of the program at the university grounds, 83 children and adults were given a meal of rice, fried chicken, squash soup with coconut milk and banana.
Bro. Jakosalem said feeding the poor on the occasion of the feast of St. Joseph, the university’s patron, is an old tradition by the Catholic church.
He said the Cebuano phrase “magpa-San Jose” (loosely translated as “to do a San Jose”) means to do a charitable work such as feeding the poor in honor of the foster father of Jesus.
“We are reintroducing that practice especially that our school bears the name of St. Joseph,” he said.
St. Joseph worked hard to provide for the needs of the Holy Family, he added.
Dr. Joan de Catalina, Infecop supervisor, said beneficiaries of the food-sharing program were dwellers of surrounding streets like Magallanes, Borromeo, Leon Kilat and even as far as Colon.
She said succeeding food sharing will be done every Friday at dinner time. On Holy Week, the university will prepare a meal for the beneficiaries on Holy Monday.
De Catalina revealed that an organization of Hospitality Management students of USJ-R sponsored the first food-sharing activity. The students, led by their teacher, Chef Richard Hao, cooked and prepared the food.
Bro. Jakosalem said he was confident that the Josenian Community would sustain the program in response to the call of addressing hunger problem.
“Our generosity will answer the question of this program’s sustainability,” he said.
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