Although Syrian refugees in Arbat Camp have been receiving food rations, they haven’t had any fresh fruits or vegetables. Recently, Samaritan’s Purse provided them with fresh food.
Hallie Powers is a finance officer working with Samaritan’s Purse in northern Iraq.
The refugees in this camp have been receiving food rations from the World Food Programme for months. They have received bulgar, pasta, lentils, beans, oil, sugar, and salt. But they haven’t had any fruits or vegetables.
Recently, Samaritan’s Purse filled the gap by distributing fresh fruits and vegetables to these people in need. I have been on a personal quest to eat healthier, so I was excited to be able to help with this project.
We were able to distribute nine kilograms (about 20 pounds) of fruits and vegetables to each family of five. If the family had between six and 10 people, they received 18 kilograms (about 40 pounds). And if the family was more 10 people, they received 27 kilograms (about 60 pounds). The packages included one kilogram each of eggplants, cucumbers, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, lemons, pomegranates, bananas, and oranges and a sleeve of garlic. In total, we distributed 490 packages.
The day before the distribution, we purchased the fruit and vegetables in bulk from the local wholesale market and had it all delivered to a tent in the camp. It was almost 10,000 pounds worth. At the tent, refugees helped package the food into plastic bags for distribution on the following day. By the end of the day, brightly colored packages filled to the brim covered the floor of the tent.
On the day of the distribution, men, women, and children came to collect their packages. Many of the Syrians said thank you in English and some of the kids started eating their fruit immediately. The next day, we even saw a few children enjoying their vegetables together. It was wonderful to be able to provide the refugees with some healthy options to eat.