Story and photo by MARK FRANCISCO
ONCE you hear the word “soup kitchen,” it would remind you of Samaritans volunteering to man a feeding outreach in a stationary place throughout the year in North America. The concept of a soup kitchen is now introduced in the Philippines and it is manned all by fans of President Duterte. Thus Duterte’s Kitchen was born.
When Duterte’s Kitchen started feeding street kids within the Cubao area last December, one of the volunteers there was a Cagayanon named Dorothy Balaba. Balaba was so inspired the experience that she wanted to replicate the initiative in her hometown. And so Duterte’s Kitchen CDO has spawned.
Located at 20 Andres Fernandez St. in barangay Carmen, Duterte’s Kitchen offers a full lunch (not just soup or lugaw) to any indigent who wishes to eat (not just street kids). Last February 11 during their dry run, the feeding generated 50 visitors. They were greeted with afritada on their plate! During the soft opening on February 18, it was pancit on the menu. And there were 200 visitors that day.
Balaba said she and her colleagues of volunteers are working on a scheme to invite only indigents for the free meals and not just anyone who wants a freebie lunch for a day. She said she will meet with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on this matter.
As of presstime, food supplies at Duterte’s Kitchen CDO will stack up to a month. It is open during lunchtime every weekday from Monday to Friday. It is in partnership with the New Gateway Eagles Club, United President Duterte Group, ONE CDO, Anonymous CDO, Soka Gakkai International and PDP-Laban, the prime mover of Duterte’s Kitchen Cubao of which Balaba is a member.
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