Until recently, the hospital did not have any food service available. Family members of patients would bring food that they cooked over fires outside the hospital wards, but patients often ate poorly due to financial constraints related to hospitalization. Some even went days without food.
Approximately one year ago, hoping to improve patient nutrition, we started to investigate what it would take to provide simple, nutritious meals for inpatients. John Ellis, a long-time friend and advocate for Kibuye Hospital, submitted an application to the Herman Miller Cares organization, requesting a grant to help with the costs. And Herman Miller Cares awarded the grant to begin a Kibuye Hope Hospital feeding program.
In early February, the new food service department began distributing nutritious porridge each morning.
Last week, the service expanded to offer an evening meal of rice and beans for each inpatient as well. Below you see dinner preparations in the hospital kitchen.
It is no small task to prepare 400 meals per day (200 each morning and 200 each evening) over an open fire. We are thankful for a new Burundian director who competently organizes the service. Several employees have been hired to sort the rice, cook the food, and wash the dishes. The 220 pounds of rice pictured below should last for about two weeks.