The Mayor's Office of Guayaquil on Sunday awarded Fr. Wilson Malavé Parrales, director of the Lord of Good Hope Soup Kitchen for the Brother in Need, with the Urban Heroes Medal of Merit. 

The July 25 award ceremony commemorated the 486th anniversary of the founding of the city.

The Archdiocese of Guayaquil said that the soup kitchen run by Fr. Malavé started nine years ago by feeding 80 homeless people every day in the downtown area. It currently offers meals to about 550 people Monday through Friday.

“The award is a tribute to the effort of all the brother volunteers who support the 'Lord of Good Hope' work of charity that has brought together all the prayer groups and benefactors in these difficult times that we are going through where there is a lot of migration, dysfunctional families, and increased drug or alcohol use,” said Fr. Malavé, who also serves as pastor of St. Augustine church.

The people served by this work of solidarity with food, clothing or a place to wash up are elderly, migrants, single mothers, street vendors, the disabled, and the homeless.

"People receive Christ through a pot that’s full of love, it’s not food but the love of those who donate the little or lot they may have for their neighbor," the priest said.