By Renee Larr
St. Alphonsus Liguori Catholic Church in Zionsville has worked in recent years to bring relief to hurricane-ravaged Croix Fer, Haiti. The church has worked to provide medical care and clean drinking water, but recently it’s developed a hot lunch program for students at the St. Anthony School.
“We started to turn toward education as another way to really sustain and improve the living environment there in the village. That’s when we got around to recognizing that the current school the church was operating was just a little stick structure. We got interested in building the school,” said Steve Boehm, a parishioner at St. Alphonsus. “Then we realized the kids that were attending the school were not being fed at all. We thought this might be another great way to support education of children in Croix Fer, but to also improve health.”
The program allows students to have a hot lunch consisting of rice, beans and fish sauce. The church calculated that for $75, one student can be fed a hot lunch for a year.
“Over the last year we have been able to provide a hot lunch for every student in the school, including the fish sauce, which is a great source of added protein,” Boehm said. “The hot lunch program has made a huge difference. There are about 250 to 280 children at the school now. It’s been really great.”
The fundraising efforts have mainly consisted of parishioners donating money, but the church would like to involve the Zionsville community.
“Over the last two or three weeks, we’ve been working really hard to support the program for the 2017-18 academic year. The main thrust has been to try to pitch this to parishioners at the church, but we thought we could do a better job of letting the Zionsville community know we are doing this,” Boehm said. “We will accept donations for the hot lunch program any time.”
For more, visit, zionsvillecatholic.com.