Come on, admit it, you’re curious. When we started this program we were too! We had questions like, is it good? Is it like rice-a-roni? Does it really give the people who eat it a sense of satisfaction?
Well, first of all, the meal recipients in Burkina Faso supplement the rice mix with spices and herbs and root vegetables or meat if they have it. While it doesn’t need this for nutrition or health benefits, it’s a matter of taste. So you can be assured that the people who eat the food like what they are eating. Second, the meal actually is good all on it’s own and honestly, we highly recommend you try it.
We don’t actually recommend tasting it to satisfy your curious palate but we do suggest eating the meal as a way of being in solidarity with those you serve. Some of you are reading this and thinking “oh great, one MORE thing to do”, never fear, it’s easy! Nearly all Rise Against Hunger staff are comfortable and familiar with making the meal and can even bring a rice cooker along with cups and spoons. For those of you who are more adventurous though, many parishes have a specific ministry cook the meals in the parish kitchen and use reusable cutlery and bowls for service so as to minimize waste and be in solidarity with the Burkinabe people we send the meals to.
Here are a few of our favorite ways we have seen meal tasting work.
- A Pastor in the Northeast invites all volunteers to return the Friday after the
event, they do the CRS Rice Bowl Stations of the Cross and then they eat the meals in silence and contemplation of those who may be eating the food at the very same time overseas.
- An event in the Southeast has volunteers go immediately to a separate room after packaging, as part of the event, they taste the meals and asked guided processing questions about the event, the meal, and the people in Burkina Faso who will eventually eat the food they just packaged.
Whatever way you decide to taste the meals – whether it’s a small group or your entire volunteer base, we highly recommend adding this to your meal packaging experience! Just let us know so we can tell your on-site coordinator and have everything set before your big day.