Sharing meals and breaking bread together are timeless ways of connecting, celebrating, and appreciating each other. Throughout the year and especially at holiday time, many of us are accustomed to this tradition, thankful for our loved ones and the other gifts we are grateful for.
At the KBI comedor, run by the Missionary Sisters of the Eucharist and staffed by dedicated volunteers, this “thanksgiving” is a daily ritual. And though Thanksgiving is not a Mexican holiday, Angela and Tim Meixell from Tumacácori, who volunteer at the comedor every Thursday, prepare a turkey meal for the migrants on that last Thursday in November. It’s now a KBI tradition.
Every other day of the year, recently deported migrants can come to the comedor to enjoy nourishing, freshly prepared meals. Each person we serve owns little more than the clothes on his or her back, and what few belongings each carried on the long journey are stowed in a daypack, small duffle or Homeland Security plastic bag.
Before the meal, the Sisters give a presentation about human rights and discuss these tenets with the migrants. Then, once the tables are prepped with tortillas and salsa, plates of beans, rice, along with chicken mole or another savory dish are passed down the long tables until everyone has a plate. The absence of cafeteria lines is intentional—the migrants are the KBI’s guests, and being served as if they were in someone’s home is a small, but significant, way of restoring the dignity lost during their harrowing journeys.
The KBI relies on the Sisters, volunteers and those who donate food to provide this simple, yet essential, form of sustenance for the migrants. We thank everyone for their generosity and kindness, and the migrants for sharing their stories and providing us with the opportunity to serve.