by Social Justice Team

The Haitian refugees in Middleboro now number 147 according to Nemasket Week on October 3. Getting meals to them, or getting them to meals, is the biggest challenge to gear up for. Meghan Quirke is the Town’s delegated coordinator for the Haitian refugee relief effort.  Fourteen area churches have expressed interest in helping, according to Ellen Cooley, church administrator of North Congregational Church whom Quirke has tapped to coordinate the churches’ efforts. 

The challenge, and various approaches to it, were main topics of discussion at coffee hour following the October 1 service, where Bill Howe announced the imminent end to meals at the hotel. The ideas flowed:

  • Meals could be cooked in FUUSM’s kitchen.  Refugees might like to do the cooking. (Andrea Priest has since confirmed we have enough big pots to cook for 147–many of whom are small children–but there would have to be two seatings.)
  • Jim and Deanne Bonnar have started a fund, through the church, to pay for costs that FUUSM will need up front to cover.  To donate, write “Haitian Refugees” in the subject Iine on your check, 0r pay through the church’s Donate Button.
  • Partnering with the Haitian restaurant in Brockton could be a fallback option for some meals. The owner might also be able to help us acquire ingredients at wholesale prices.  (He might also be able to help with translation.)
  • Friends and allies in Bridgewater might help. (Some have since reached out to us.  We are waiting to hear back from our friends at Bridgewater Communities for Civil Rights (BCCR).

We hope that a meeting that took place on Wednesday evening, October 4, between Ellen Cooley and Town officials will lead to a meeting very soon of representatives from all the area churches that are willing to participate.  

Other ideas have come forward since Sunday:

  • Andrea has suggested that induction plates and crock pots could be provided in the hotel’s community room.    
  • Other churches within walking and stroller distance from the hotel include Central Congregational and Meetinghouse. We are unaware whether either or both have volunteered. If so, there could be opportunities for shared efforts.   
  • The main meal in Haiti, a cooked meal of balanced foods, is normally eaten between noon and 3:00 p.m.
  • Familiar favorite ingredients of these stews and hearty soups include rice, beans, yams, squash, greens, and pork, goat or chicken. (Unfamiliar foods supplied to Haitian refugees often go uneaten, especially by the young children.)
  • Small amounts of other foods may be eaten at other times.  The most non-perishable and available of these favorites appear to be bananas, popcorn, peanut butter and juices. Guava juice is a particular favorite of some.

*When donating to FUUSM’s Haitian Refugees Fund:

Making your donation a unique amount, e.g., $30.04 will help the church realize it is for a particular fund–-and make it easier for you to check up on whether your money went into that fund.

For more information, or to share information, contact Bill Howe and Dody Adkins-Perry of the Social Justice Team:

Anyone wishing to donate items through the Town should contact the schools’ Family Resource Coordinator Meghan Quirke at

Stay tuned.  This situation seems to change every day!  We will share updated information as fast as we are able.