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The Poco a Poco Kids' Diner in San Pedro Itzican Ricon area

Poco a Poco Kids' Diner changed somewhat during 2023 when we moved the kitchen located at our old office in San Pedro, to the terrace area at Anita's new home.  Here Anita organized feeding more than 160 children, five days a week for either breakfast or lunch (March 2024). 

 

This location is not ideal in the long term because this has caused some security issues for Anita, so the Kids' Diner has now moved to our new Community Center just across the road.  Our inauguration event is being organized for April 24 at 1:00 pm.  But the kids are already using the space.  (It's so exciting for us to see this!)

 

Anita hoped initially that she could find organizations that would provide enough food for the children, but as more children came to eat, she has found these donations somewhat irregular and not enough for all the children who are now attending.  Its important that the food is nutritious and healthy - which of course costs money.  Poco a Poco is again providing funds to supplement the costs.  Sadly, Foodbank Lakeside no longer provide funds for food for this dining program. 
 

lunch for 22 low.jpg

The other five kids kitchens that were initially set up and organized by Anita, are now run by CreSer A.C. (Grow, Create, Believe).  They receive funding from Foodbank Lakeside towards the cost of the food for those kitchens. In addition, they receive funds to distribute despensas (food packages) for renal patients and to the elderly. 

 

CreSer leaders are teaching permaculture and many other exciting programs to educate people in the community.  We appreciate what they are doing to help the communities. 

Donations towards Food is always needed so that we can continue feeding children. Given that many of these children only have one meal a day, they are always hungry.
An estimated 70% of children in the San Pedro Itzicán area suffer from malnutrition, which is a major risk factor for kidney disease (which is so prevalent in the area).  

When we started the kids' kitchens in 2020, an amazing team of volunteer mothers in San Pedro did the cooking, feeding more than 100 children, five days a week.  The program grew and grew to other locations, and now stipends are paid to the cooks.
During early Covid, when things shut down completely in mid-March 2020, people were desperate for food.  Poco a Poco provided despensas (basic food supplies) to over 1,900 families - each week. Thanks to the wonderful support from FoodBank Lakeside and other generous donors, the despensas (food packages) we were giving out each week, included 1 kg each of rice, beans, lentils, as well as fruits and vegetables.  FoodBank Lakeside still continue to help the renal patients with food despensas.   From mid March 2020, until mid-August 2020 we were paying out over 105,000 pesos each week to pay for food (over $6,000 US a week).    When people started to go back to work in August 2020, the focus returned to the needs of the children. 

Of course we had not budgeted for the crisis but we did the best we could in the circumstances and continue to do so.  All donations are most happily accepted!  We are most grateful for the support of FoodBank Lakeside at that time.

 

One special group donates towards buying chickens for the food for the dining programs.   The group is called the "Chicken Chicks & Roosters".  These donors generously pre-pay to provide chickens to be purchased for the meals. 
 
Our grateful thanks to these donors and Rita Phillips and Sandi Lindsay, who coordinate the Los Sabinos "Chicken Chicks and Roosters".  But we need more funding to include adding chicken to the weekly meals ... and we need more Chicken Chicks & Roosters!
Chicken
You can appreciate we need regular donations towards paying for the cost of food.

If you wish to support this initiative, please consider supporting the Poco a Poco San Pedro Childrens'Dining Room run by Anita.  As soon as the Community Center dining area and kitchen are ready, it will be moved there.

Families who receive food and despensas, are encouraged to "give back" by volunteering in their community - because we do believe that "A Hand up not a hand out" is the best way to go.  Even during Covid, this continued.  People helped clear areas of garbage or helped with other projects. It was a way for the people to find pride - that it wasn't just a "hand out". 

Even soap and water are not available in homes... So we educate children to wash their hands before and after meals.

washing hands before eating.jpg
Many people in these communities are facing many medical issues - especially renal failure.  The most usual cause for this appears to be:            1.  genetics, 2. pollution, 3. malnutrition and 4. lack of clean drinking water. 

We can't do much about genetics (these small communities have many inter-family marriages), and pollution is probably due to the water from the lake where they bathe and drink the water (if they have no money for bottled water).  Soda drinks are frequently drunk instead of healthier drinks.  The water quality in the town's water is known to have heavy metals and people do not trust what they get from hoses connected to some of the homes.  Sanitation and water treatment processes are not reliable so the water, garbage, etc., runs into the lake.  Where people bathe.
 
There is widespread malnutrition.  Young children, if not provided with enough protein and fresh vegetables or fruit, are very susceptible to renal failure.  Dental health is also important for healthy heart and kidneys. 

A medical report that came out in late 2020 estimated that 4 out of every 10 children living in the San Pedro Itzicán area will have renal problems.    This is the link to the article in Spanish.  This is tragic.

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