Amidst the scorching summer heat, over a hundred street dwellers gathered outside the United Methodist Church (UMC) along United Nations Avenue in the city of Manila. As early as 7:00 in the morning, the hungry crowd occupied the whole sidewalk stretching from UMC to the 7/11 store, all waiting for the weekly Monday feeding program to be held at 10:00 a.m. For a time now, it has been a regular activity of UMC in partnership with Stop Hunger Now, Philippines to provide an efficient and effective food support for the poor of Manila.
The feeding program is the brain child of Bishop Rudy Juan and MEA Treasurers with the support of Bishop Mike Watson of the BRIDGES program. The staff of UMC together with volunteers prepare the Stop Hunger Now meals. They have concocted different versions of the meals such as chicken arroz caldo and champorado. Each feeding session starts with a prayer of thanksgiving and a reading of the bible. Every Monday morning they feed a total of around 150-180 people.
Simultaneous with the feeding, the church also holds a daycare for children aged 3- 10 years old. The street children are given books to read and engage in various learning activities such as coloring booking and watching educational programs.