PanamaTimes

Friday, Mar 01, 2024

Soaring Demand at Cuban Soup Kitchen Amid Deepening Economic Crisis

Demand for meals from Quisicuaba, a Havana-based community soup kitchen, is surging amid Cuba's worsening economic situation.
Sixty-year-old Elda William, once a psychologist, had resorted to selling cellphone plans after her income stopped due to a burst sewage pipe. With repairs unattended and clients lost, she now relies on Quisicuaba for food, reminiscent of the 1980s when the government provided free rations.

State-provided essentials like rice and sugar have dwindled over time, more so with the current financial crisis leading to scarcities and high costs. Thus, Cubans in need are increasingly depending on non-governmental initiatives like Quisicuaba.

Despite its reliance on donations from local cultural groups, overseas contributions, and private benefactors, the initiative has grown substantially. They serve up to 4,000 meals a day across demographics and regions, with the numbers rising constantly.

The project includes home delivery for those who can't access their clean, welcoming facility in Havana.

Quisicuaba, recognized by the Cuban government for its efforts, doesn’t limit assistance based on income and doesn’t charge for meals.

Leader Enrique Aleman, while acknowledging the tough economy, underscores that the project is not driven by financial needs alone. It's a comprehensive program offering counseling, housing, and nourishment, addressing widespread afflictions like addiction, dietary health, and domestic troubles.

Expanding its reach, Quisicuaba opened a shelter in San Antonio de los Baños to combat the growing homelessness. The shelter provides meals and involves an agricultural element to feed the kitchen. While accommodating 53 individuals presently, it aims to house up to 570.

Angela Figueroa, a 66-year-old who was homeless, now benefits from both the kitchen and the new center, receiving three meals a day along with attention to her medical needs.

Quisicuaba continues to pledge support for the rising number of Cubans affected by the economic downfall, eager to extend their help even further.
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