Food for Families program in Lebanon expands to 200 families through the end of 2021

November 3, 2021- Posted in Lebanon

With your support and a generous $40,000 grant from the Holy Land Christians Society, families from across Lebanon are receiving desperately needed monthly food vouchers.

Teachers and staff at St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Center in Beirut gathered in August for the first time in many months. The food vouchers they received came as a surprise.

In August Archdeacon Imad Zoorob, the sole Episcopal priest in Lebanon and Syria, distributed $75 food vouchers to 27 staff members and 58 student families of St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Center in Beirut through the generosity of American Friends over the spring and summer. According to Fr. Zoorob, “The staff members were thrilled and some teared up because their monthly wages will barely support their families for one week.”

Though the school has been closed since the onset of the pandemic, staff have worked hard to stay connected to the children with cognitive disabilities served by the school. The devaluation of the Lebanese pound by 90 percent has reduced the buying power of their paychecks to practically nothing.

Fr. Zoorob sees evidence of the worsening situation every day and prays for a way to reach more families, particularly those in the All Saints Church community where he serves and the impoverished Armenian Christians whose neighborhoods were some of the hardest hit by the 2020 Port of Beirut explosion.

The board of the Holy Land Christians Society and their donors followed the deteriorating conditions across Lebanon and answered Fr. Zoorob’s prayers by providing a $40,000 grant to fund $50 monthly food vouchers for 200 food insecure Lebanese families from September through December 2021.

In partnership with the Rev. Megerdich Karageozian, president of the Union of Armenian Evangelical Churches of the Near East, Fr. Zoorob has distributed the first installment of funding to support the September voucher program.

AFEDJ Trustee Jane Deland of Boston, who serves on the Holy Land Christians Society board as well, explained the growing trust between the two organizations. “We have developed a close relationship with AFEDJ, having made several grants to both Ahli Arab Hospital and Jerusalem Princess Basma Center.”

Holy Land Christians Society President Mary Kay Turner added, “Knowing of AFEDJ’s ability to wire funds directly to Archdeacon Imad Zoorob assured us that our funds would reach many families in dire need of food during this deepening humanitarian crisis.”

Fr. Zoorob reports that “Soon enough we’ll be out of gas, fuel, and clean water. Hospitals and pharmacies already have no medicine. Many bakeries have closed.  Because of fuel shortages, people are walking to their offices. Many have quit their jobs because their salaries aren’t enough for one tank of gas.”

He added, “We are so grateful for the support of our American friends. It’s hard to find words to express it. Our prayers have been answered by your support of our situation. We know they will be again.”

Please consider a donation to help extend the Food for Families program in Lebanon.