Bulembu Supporter/Superfan/Sponsor: I've read about the Centralized Dining Hall before, but where does all that food that gets served there actually come from?
Bulembu Correspondent: Well, I'm glad you asked! Right now it is prepared in a small kitchen in the Welcome Center. The need to feed children has far outgrown the facilities in the Welcome Center and meal preparation for Bulembu Ministries Swaziland’s children is becoming more and more of a logistical nightmare.
Enter: the Caterpillar Foundation.
Through one of Bulembu Ministries Swaziland’s Canadian partners, NOW Africa, BMS has recently received a generous grant from the Caterpillar Foundation to complete the renovation of the Centralized Kitchen Facility.
(The opportunity that Caterpillar has given BMS is the opportunity of a matching grant of $1 for $1 up to $30,000 USD. Read: we raise it, they match it).
The Centralized Kitchen Facility will provide Bulembu Ministries Swaziland with a cost effective alternative to installing a kitchen in each home that is renovated for orphan care usage. Growing kids eat a lot and with over 100 new orphans expected to be welcomed into the Bulembu Orphan Care Program next year, the need is becoming critical.
The building that will house the new Centralized Kitchen Facility is located next to the museum site and on the edge of the industrial Stores area.
This project will employ six to eight full-time staff members who would work to cook and deliver 200 lunches and 200 dinners on a daily basis for the children under BMS’ care.
This project also provides BMS with the facilities to teach children about nutrition and food preparation so that when they move out of the program and are on their own they are have the skills to cook healthy, nutritious meals for themselves.
In addition, a Centralized Kitchen Facility will allow Bulembu Ministries Swaziland to provide access to nutritional meals to Bulembu residents who are not able to prepare their own meals – especially those who are HIV positive in the community.
The renovation is slated to begin at the beginning of June with the center being fully operational by November 2010.
Interior of the Centralized Kitchen Facility site.