MIAMI – With the rising costs of housing in South Florida, many of our neighbors in need are forced to make economic tradeoffs. They often go without nutritious meals in order to pay the rent.
In Miami’s Little Havana, known internationally as a hub of Latin food, festivals and music, a staggering 39 percent of the population lives below the poverty line.
“We have a great variety of people from Nicaragua, Honduras, and they are trying to put their feet on the ground and start a new life with the American dream,” said Abiezer Rodriguez, senior pastor of Miami Spanish SDA Church.
Pastor Rodriguez’s church is nestled inside a Little Havana neighborhood. Every Tuesday, he, along with about one dozen church volunteers, roll up their sleeves to distribute healthy foods. They also pray with the people and invite them to join in a bible study.
“We not only give them food, but we give them a smile,” said Rodriguez. “We give them love and we give them hope.”
Last week, hope came in the form of a delivery van.
As part of Local 10′s Food for Thought program, and courtesy of Publix and Colgate Palmolive, we brought chicken, fresh produce, rice, beans and seasoning for 40 families to make multiple meals. They also received personal hygiene products.
It all arrived in time to kick-off Hispanic Heritage Month.
“Food is not just about feeding people, it’s about family, friendship, about collaborating and being together,” said Robyn Hankerson Printemps, Publix community relations manager. “Now these families will be able to have a full meal on their table, and as a food retailer, that’s the most important thing that we can do to contribute to our community.”
For the humble church community doing a mighty work, any measure of giving is appreciated.
“Whatever people want to do with us and share with us, they are more than welcome,” said Rodriguez.
Miami Spanish SDA Church also provides clothing to those in need and prepares food for 200 homeless people every Saturday.
If you’d like to help them in any way, call 956-322-6128 or email email@example.com.