PAARL, SOUTH AFRICA – There are essentially two major problems when it comes to hunger among impoverished families.
First, there is food scarcity. That doesn’t mean that there is not an adequate global supply of food to feed everyone. There is. The problem is that the food is not readily available to the hungry people who need it the most.
Second, the foods upon which the impoverished feed are often not as nutritious as the human body requires. Malnutrition is a malady affecting millions of children around the world. They either suffer from its effects for the rest of their lives, or they die in early childhood.
Jae and Debra Evans witnessed the devastation of hunger after moving to South Africa in 2005. Attendance was meager at their discipleship classes – until the Evans started feeding them before the classes. The response put an exclamation point on the need to feed the hungry physical food as well as spiritual food.
The only thing on a hungry person’s mind is his hunger. The only thing he needs is a meal. When that person has regular access to nutritious food, his mind will eventually stop concentrating on his past physical hunger. He will have the capacity to consider his spiritual hunger.
As Jae and Debra shared their need with others, the Lord began to deliver resources that would change their ministry.
“Outside the Bowl exists to eliminate physical and spiritual hunger in impoverished countries. But through it all, our greatest calling is to glorify God by serving His people.”
Outside the Bowl operates “Super Kitchens,” the first of which opened in Paarl, South Africa, in 2008. In its first year alone, the Paarl Super Kitchen fed meals to more than 1.5 million people!
The Super Kitchens are industrial-sized meal-manufacturing facilities. There are currently five kitchens in impoverished areas of South Africa, Malawi, Mexico, and Haiti. Each kitchen has the capacity to produce up to 6,000 hot meals per day using multiple steam-jacket pots that process meals at a rate of 1,000 per hour. Those meals are transported to schools, orphanages, churches, hospitals, and homes within a 45-mile radius of each kitchen.
A fine-tuned collaboration of growers and producers combined with well-organized delivery teams from well-establish community partners ensures that tens of thousands of people per day are no longer hungry or malnourished.
Outside the Bowl’s local community partners purchase the prepared meals at savings of anywhere from 30% to 70% of what they had previously spent. Two thousand meals per day generate enough revenue to make an Outside the Bowl Super Kitchen sustainable. Any additional income is invested as seed money to build another kitchen. The savings on the cost of meals also contributes to the financial stability of Out of the Bowl’s local partners.
Since the opening of the Paarl Super Kitchen, Outside the Bowl has prepared and delivered more than 24 million meals in cooperation with more than 300 “feeding partners.”
Outside the Bowl operates in the realm of faith-based missions that is rarely recognized but which is essential to the feeding of the hungry for which other agencies often reap the acclaim.
Learn more about Outside the Bowl at their website.