Bishop Atanasije opens soup kitchen in Prekovci, visits school and faithful in Paralovo

The Diocese of Raška-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija, together with the NGO “Majka devet Jugovića” (Mother of the Nine Jugoviches) today officially opened its fifth soup kitchen and bakery in the village of Prekovci near Novo Brdo. The new soup kitchen, which is located on the premises of the (already existing) soup kitchen in Prekovci, will provide daily hot meals and bread to the poorest citizens in the municipality of Gnjilane.

The opening of the new soup kitchen will ensure a daily meal for another 250 people from six villages in the municipality of Gnjilane. Therefore, the total number of persons using soup kitchens in Kosovo and Metohija has increased and presently numbers more than 1,500 people.

On this occasion, Bishop Atanasije, the Administrator of the Diocese of Raška and Prizren, said: “The opening and operation of a new soup kitchen in Kosovo and Metohija has been made possible thanks to donations collected through the charitable campaign “One phone call for one meal for the hungry in Kosovo and Metohija”, which was carried out in Republika Srpska through the church parish of Lazarica with the blessing of Bishop Jefrem of Banja Luka, and resulted in the collection of 105 tons of food and 25,000 euros in money.

All five soup kitchens, as well as the bakeries, are operational and working thanks to the charitable campaign “1 SMS for 1 meal for the hungry in Kosovo and Metohija”, which was launched in February 2008 by the Diocese of Raška-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija and the NGO “Mother of the Nine Jugoviches”. Funds collected from this campaign were used for the construction of three soup kitchens and bakeries. Also worth mentioning are campaigns by Infostan in Belgrade, as well as many companies and individuals who responded to these campaigns, thanks to which the soup kitchen presently has 25,793,060.53 Serbian dinars (Equivalent to approx. 260,134 euros or 350,167 US dollars) on its account.

The soup kitchens feed about 1,500 people every day, which means they prepare 4,500 meals per day and over 1,000,000 meals a year. Needs, however, are much greater because the number of those who need assistance in securing at least one huge meal a day is enormous.

The Diocese of Raška-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija, together with the NGO “Mother of the Nine Jugoviches” and with the enormous help of good people in organizing charitable campaigns to the objective seeks to maintain existing soup kitchens and open more new ones. In this regard, the opening of a new, sixth soup kitchen in the village of Vidanje, Klina municipality, in Metohija is expected soon. The opening of this kitchen has already been helped by priests and donors from Herzegovina.

After the village of Prekovci, Bishop Atanasije, presbytera Svetlana Stević, who is the chairwoman of the NGO “Mother of the Nine Jugoviches”, and several priests visited the village of Paralovo near Gnjilane in the direction of Novo Brdo, where some of the socially vulnerable people receive their meals through the soup kitchen. The intention of the Diocese is to provide one hot meal a day for children attending school, and on this occasion Bishop Atanasije visited them and presented them with gifts.