Dr. Simone feeds the poor

  • March 6, 2008

{mospagebreak}TORONTO - Last year Jesus sent Christmas letters to two African royals. Jesus wanted Princess Diana of Angola and Prince Yusuf of Tanzania to know that He loves them and that their problems would soon be a thing of the past.

Well, Jesus Christ does not write anyone letters and no, there are no earthly royals in Angola and Tanzania. But there is an organization called Canadian Food for Children, whose founder, Dr. Andrew Simone, uses his resources and energy to transform Jesus’ love into acts of benevolence.

Simone chose to heal people through his medical profession. But he gave up his practice more than 30 years ago and along with his wife, Joan, decided to dedicate their lives to helping the poor around the world. This was the beginnings of Toronto-based Canadian Food for Children, which answers appeals for food and supplies from poor countries where children can easily be sacrificed by poverty-stricken parents who are forced to let one child die so another can live off meagre resources.

“We have all the food we need in Canada. Nobody starves here and yet children are starving to death in other countries,” Simone told an audience at Toronto’s St. Bernard de Clairvaux Church Feb. 20.

Diana and Yusuf are just two of the thousands of emaciated children, whose parents and communities are so poor they cannot feed them, who are aided by Canadian Food for Children.

“Look into their eyes,” said Simone as he held up pictures of malnourished Diana and Yusuf. “You will see that they can be anything they want to be, just like real princesses and princes, if only someone can feed them and nurture them.”

Simone’s talk on “The Good Samaritan in the Modern World” was organized by the Holy Mary World Networks, a charitable group that also runs Christian broadcasts under the name Radio Maria.

“It does not take much out of our time and resources to collect the food and ship it out and yet it means life to little children (like Diana and Yusuf),” he told an audience captivated by both Simone’s humour and the seriousness of his message.

Using a combination of jokes, biblical messages and hard facts, Simone told of how the media and politicians have often connived to scare the world into thinking there is no more space for the growing human population. The result, he said, is that some communities were forced to cut back on reproduction, sometimes with the complicity or even funding of governments.

“But do you know that all the six billion people in the world can fit into the state of Texas with each one of us having a 20-square-metre space to ourselves?” he asked.

Canadian Food for Children solicits food and supplies which it ships to at least 20 poor countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and South America from its Mississauga warehouse. Last year, the organization shipped out 4.7 metric tonnes of food to mostly church-run charities who in turn feed thousands of children.

“We are increasingly being asked to provide other things like medication and clothing,” said Simone, whose organization’s motto is: “Jesus, Mary and Joseph, our strength and our glory.”

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