MONTROUIS, HAITI (KCBD) - Tonight we wrap up our coverage of the journey to Haiti, as Breedlove and Operation HOPE sent nearly half a million servings of food to that country as relief from Hurricane Matthew.
KCBD NewsChannel 11's Presley Fowler was a part of the recent trip, and saw first hand how the food sent all the way from Lubbock, is making a positive impact on the children in school.
Monday through Friday, children in Haiti are hard at work in their primary school.
For most of them, school is just one big room, with grade levels separated only by a chalkboard.
"They're all in the same room, and it's dark and it's hot. And they're right on top of each other, and you would never know it," Operation HOPE board member and volunteer, Brenda Johnson, said.
Despite these conditions, the students are grateful to be at school and to be learning. The meal they get at school may be their only meal for the entire day.
"An average wage income for a Haitian that works all day long is no more than $2 a day. But if they've got seven mouths to feed, that will not carry. This one food, once a day, satisfies their caloric need. At least they won't go hungry," Operation HOPE founder, Dr. John Thomas, said.
So every weekday, at all seven of the schools Pastor Gerard Cesar oversees, the students receive a warm and nutritious meal, filled with energy-rich ingredients to help them focus and grow strong.
They wait for all of their peers to be served, then pray together as a class.
This food in particular, came from Lubbock.
As a father figure for these students, knowing they will be able to eat means everything to Pastor Cesar.
"For me it's a real blessing to get the food here and just to feed our kids. It's really a blessing. That really fills my heart with joy," Pastor Cesar said.
While this food is a big blessing to the students in Haiti, it was even more moving for those of us who witnessed this in person.
The gratitude and happiness coming from these students is astounding, something we can all learn from.
"These kids don't take anything for granted. They are not complaining, and they're all smiles. They're happy. Their attitude is inspiring," Johnson said.
The community of Lubbock should be proud to know and see the donations sent from West Texas are impacting the lives and the futures, of 1,500 children in Haiti, each and every day.
"You hear the beautiful voices of children behind me. They are like the music to my ears because they are just getting fed. And some of the kids have been hungry all day Saturday, all day Sunday. This is the first meal in two days, but you don't see them whining or crying. They are joyful... This is only possible because of the pocketbooks of West Texas that has been so generous to Operation HOPE and Breedlove," Dr. John Thomas said.
"I really want to send my regards to all of them. And please tell them by my mouth, by my mouth, all of the children said a big thank you to all of the supporters, all the ones who put their hands together to make this work," Pastor Cesar said.
Food insecurity continues to be a problem in Haiti, so helping to provide meals will be an ongoing effort.
The Operation HOPE banquet is coming up at the end of March, and all of the funds raised at that banquet help make things like this possible.
The banquet will be Saturday, March 25 at the Lubbock Civic Center.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit this link: http://www.operationhopeusa.org/blog/banquet-tickets-sale-now.