Reenergizing Vital Work in Lebanon

2022 OYM Kitchen Rehab - at work (3)
Reliable solar-powered energy for this Church-run kitchen in Lebanon enables volunteers to continue critical meal delivery to 130 families each week.
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Solar-Powered System Revives a Charity Kitchen
Over the past few years, Lebanon’s economic crisis has only deepened. Exacerbated by the pandemic and the explosion in Beirut in 2020, Lebanon faces continuing currency depreciation, frequent electrical cuts, and rising fuel costs.
The electricity cuts were particularly problematic at a charity kitchen in the town of Mansourieh, in Mount Lebanon. In July 2020, the Orthodox Youth Movement at St. Mary Orthodox Church opened a charity kitchen, which with the support of the parish and volunteers prepares and distributes hot meals to people in need across the surrounding neighborhoods.
However, as long blackouts became common and the price of diesel fuel for generators increased, despite everyone’s best efforts, by 2021 the kitchen could no longer afford to operate.
Thankfully, an IOCC program revitalized the kitchen by installing a solar-energy system that provides continuous power for cooking and safer food storage. IOCC also helped to repair the kitchen and install new equipment. The initiative was developed in close coordination with His Eminence Metropolitan Silouan Moussi of Mount Lebanon, who provided valuable input and blessed this work.
Now, volunteers are serving 130 families per week, preparing hot meals and bread for people like 74-year-old Josephine. She visits St. Mary’s every Thursday, getting food for herself, her sick husband, and her chronically ill 42-year-old daughter.
Josephine, who suffers from high blood pressure and kidney problems, deeply appreciates the meals she receives. “Food has become so expensive,” Josephine said. “At least my husband and I can secure food for two days [each week]. It helps us in this difficult time.”
While parishioners help cover the cost of ingredients, IOCC’s assistance revived the kitchen. As St. Mary’s priest, Fr. Younes, said, without help from IOCC, “It would have been impossible to cook and operate.” Today, with its new solar-powered system, the kitchen is again giving food—and hope—to the people of Mansourieh and nearby neighborhoods in Mount Lebanon.
2022 OYM Kitchen Rehab - Solar Panel System
Solar panels provide a consistent power source despite the frequent blackouts and high fuel costs affecting Lebanon.

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