“If I didn’t receive this food, my family and I would go without any,” says Randa.
Randa is a 45-year-old single mother and the sole provider for her family. She used to be a housekeeper, but she has not been formally employed for over a year.
When the explosion shook the city of Beirut on August 4, it damaged her home, and Randa did not have the means to pay for the repairs. She and her family had to live without electricity and a working kitchen. When they were no longer able to make rent, they were forced to leave their home entirely.
She and her two sons now live in cramped quarters with her brother Robert – who is also struggling with unemployment – and his two teenage daughters.
She makes what she can by selling scrap metal she finds in alleyways and on the streets. “Selling scrap does not help me feed my children or send them to school,” she says.
As a member of the Humanitarian Coalition, Canadian Lutheran World Relief and its partners are providing hot meals to Randa and Robert’s family through a community kitchen that started operating immediately after the Beirut explosion. They are ensuring that hundreds of vulnerable families in three neighbourhoods receive the food they need.
Hot meals are delivered to Randa and Robert’s home three times a week. She says the assistance is helping her ensure basic nutrition for herself and her children after the economic crisis, COVID-19, and the Beirut blast affected their ability to afford basic necessities.