Haitian Eatery Serves Up Taste Of Hope Amid Despair Two weeks after the earthquake in Haiti, aid groups are distributing food. Yet many Haitians say they are still not getting the help they need. But some in Port-au-Prince aren't waiting for outside help. At Muncheez restaurant, neighbors are helping neighbors.
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Haitian Eatery Serves Up Taste Of Hope Amid Despair

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Haitian Eatery Serves Up Taste Of Hope Amid Despair

Haitian Eatery Serves Up Taste Of Hope Amid Despair

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ARI SHAPIRO, Host:

NPR's Tamara Keith takes us to a restaurant where neighbors are helping neighbors.

TAMARA KEITH: Muncheez is open for business. But it's nothing like it was before the earthquake. The corner pizza place that was too expensive for most Haitians to enjoy is now serving rice and beans, chicken, spaghetti, anything the owners can get their hands on, and it's all free. Co-owner Gilbert Bailly says it started the day after the earthquake when he realized his ingredients would spoil before anyone would have the wherewithal to buy a pizza.

GILBERT BAILLY: So instead of losing the food, we said let's cook the food and give it away to people that needs it. And then two days after, we are running out of diesel, running out of gas, running out of food. We had people that has businesses and started to bring food to us. And we are doing that since.

KEITH: When donations from other businesses in the neighborhood ran out, Bailly's nephew gathered money from friends and brought in a truckload of food from the Dominican Republic. Now Bailly has a Facebook page and is trying to get additional help that way.

BAILLY: As long as I have stuff to give, I'm going to keep doing it. It keeps myself busy. It gives me hope.

KEITH: Muncheez is feeding 1,000 people a day. Around Port-au-Prince, in small ways people are doing the same thing, sharing food with their neighbors, trying to stretch every morsel. Lines are wrapped around the building when the restaurant finally opens its doors in the late afternoon. Some have been waiting for hours. Leonce Bell is 40-years-old and has just been handed a plate of spaghetti and a cup of water. When the earthquake hit, he lost his house and his job. Now his family is living in a public park with thousands of others where food is hard to come by.

LEONCE BELL: (Through translator) It's been a long time since I have eaten. The water, we find it easily. When they are giving out food to the people, they are fighting for it and sometimes it's not even enough.

KEITH: Bell hasn't eaten in three days, and he doesn't plan to touch the plate of food he's holding. He's saving it for his child.

BELL: (Through translator) It is amazing, because I can find food easily here, where in other places I cannot find any.

KEITH: Tamara Keith, NPR News, Port-au-Prince.

SHAPIRO: Tamara just introduced us to a Haitian man saving a plate of a spaghetti for his child. But thousands of children lost their parents in the earthquake. Many are living in makeshift camps with no one to care for them.

STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

If you would like to donate to the charities involved in earthquake relief efforts, you'll find a list of some of them at npr.org.

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