On January 12, 2010, the massive earthquake struck Port-au-Prince. We were so relieved and grateful to receive the miraculous news on Friday, January 15th, that all the Haitians we work with were safe and that the rectory building where the food program took place had not collapsed.
On Sunday, January 17th, our Program Director in Haiti, Lavarice Gaudin, arrived in Port-au-Prince via the Dominican Republic with the first of many truckloads of food and water. Over the course of the next week, as relief trucks full of supplies paid for by What If? continued to come in, Lavarice and members of the food program team worked tirelessly to distribute canned food, bottled water, tents, shoes, baby food and other emergency supplies to thousands.
On Monday, January 25th, once aftershocks had subsided, the cooking team re-entered the rectory kitchen and once again started serving hot meals of rice, beans, and vegetables. Using supplies from the relief trucks, they started feeding as many people as they could. In the first weeks, up to 6,500 meals were served each weekday. In the months after the earthquake, as food and water became more available in the area, the number of people coming for meals stabilized at around 3,000 each weekday. Members of the food program team also continued to distribute food to some in neighboring tent camps who were unable to walk to the rectory building to get meals. The food program served over 750,000 meals to hungry children and some adults in 2010.