When the earthquake that struck Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on January 12, destroyed much of the city and the small island nation’s economy, it was business as usual at the St. Clare’s rectory, where the Berkeley-based What If? Foundation has been feeding some of the world’s hungriest children for the last decade.
The temblor, which registered 7.1 on the Richter scale, struck just as 1,500 children at St. Clare’s had finished eating their afternoon meal, after school. The What If? Foundation provides one meal a day-usually rice, beans, vegetables, and meat or fish-to the children of the neighborhood that surrounds St. Clare’s Church. Despite the earthquake, little has changed, thanks to an extraordinary organization set up by founder and executive director, Margaret Trost.
“It was an emergency situation before the earthquake,” says Margaret. “The children were hungry before the earthquake. So, we know how to do this.
“The scope of our operation now is much larger, but the operation is the same. It’s the same trusted, courageous, extraordinary members of the St. Clare’s community who are cooking and distributing food to the community, only now it’s up to as many as 4,000 meals.”
Donations may be made by check to the What If? Foundation, 1563 Solano Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94707, or online at http://www.whatiffoundation.org
The foundation’s most urgent need right now is money. Each truckload of food and water costs approximately $5,000. The foundation is sending six trucks every week, so donations to its Earthquake Relief Fund are critical to provide this level of support.