Due to the increase in the price of basic foodstuffs, the SoupKitchen “Imaret” from Tuzla is running out of food. The budget for 2021 is planned in the amount of two million BAM, but during the year there was an increase in the price of flour, oil, vegetables… Thus, the functioning of the kitchen in the first three months of 2022 is questionable.
“The soup kitchen receives money from the budgets of Tuzla Canton, the cities of Tuzla, Gracanica, Lukavac, and the Municipality of Kalesija. That is around 25-30 percent of our annual needs. We all know that sometimes the budget is late and it takes a month, two, or three in order for the budget to become operational. That is why we appealed to legal entities and individuals to help us finish 2021 without leaving any of our users without a meal. That appeal already had a response because we received a donation from Zivinice, but in the long run, we need the help of the wider community to overcome this crisis,“ mentioned Mensura Husanovic, director of theMerhamet Tuzla Regional Committee, which includes the ”Imaret” Soup Kitchen.
2.400 meals are distributed daily at 19 checkpoints in Tuzla, Kalesija, Gracanica, and Lukavac. At the beginning of the year, they opened their bakery in the Soup Kitchen “Imaret”, and earlier they installed a line for meat processing.
“We need between 400 and 600 kilograms of flour per day for the production of bread. A 25-kilogram bag of flour has risen in price from 14.5 BAM to 21.5, then to 24 BAM, and they tell us that it will go up to 30 BAM. The family needs 800 grams of bread, and on weekends we share a so-called dry meal, while on Fridays we need up to 1.200 kilograms of flour to produce bread. Oil, vegetables, and all other necessities became more expensive. At the same time, the number of our users is growing. On November 4th, we had as many as ten newly registered users, and it was clear before that the kitchen could not function without the support of legal entities and citizens who have always helped us. The current situation is very difficult so we had to send an appeal for help to ensure that none of our users would stay hungry, ” Husanovic emphasized.
They have enough meat and meat products because the quantities of meat collected for Eid al-Adha are sufficient for the whole year. Savings are planned with the opening of the bakery, but due to the increase in the price of flour at the end of the year, the cost would be the same as if they had bought ready-made bread from suppliers.
“In addition to the 2.400 meals that we share at 19 points, we bring 230 meals to the doorstep every day. We bring meals to seriously ill citizens. During Ramadan, we distributed 14.200 iftars, which we also carried on the doorstep. We didn’t leave anyone hungry, but we had to send an appeal for help because the current situation is really difficult,” concluded Mensura Husanovic.