The Kids' Kitchens
Running the Kids' Kitchens changed somewhat during 2023. Five of the 6 Kids’ Kitchens are now run by CreSer A.C. (Grow, Create, Believe). They receive some funding from Foodbank Lakeside towards the cost of the food for the kitchens, and CreSer help by paying stipends for cooks. In addition, they also distribute despensas (food packages) for renal patients (on behalf of Foodbank Lakeside). CreSer leaders are teaching permaculture and many other exciting programs to educate people in the community. We admire and appreciate what they are doing to help the community. We all make a difference when we work together.
The sixth Kids’ Kitchen, is now temporarily located at Anita’s house in the East of San Pedro, and organized by Anita and Poco a Poco. She hopes that she can continue to get donated food for this from the many civil associations she had recruited to this cause. But some weeks, we will have to help out. The kitchen is feeding over 120 children (breakfast or lunch), five days a week.
Poco a Poco will continue providing the gas, drinking water, water for handwashing and clean up, as we were doing before. We also pay a stipend to the cook.
This is the Kids’ Kitchen that will eventually move to the community center building, just in front of Anita's house.
Some of the Kids' Kitchens were built on land that is being lent to us (belonging to local indigenous owners). We built lock-up storage rooms in each location to store supplies and cooking utensils.
Thank you so much Anne, Scott and family, and Patricia for all your support!
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 by the beginning of 2023, the kitchens were providing hot meals to over 700 children, five days a week. In some locations, breakfasts replaced lunches, because some children attend school in the mornings and others in the afternoon. Having a meal before school is ideal, so the kids can concentrate their minds on school work, not on their empty tummies!
Foodbank Lakeside provides some funding for the food for the five Kids' Kitchens and for the renal patient despensas. If you wish to donate to them specifically for food, please direct your donations to them.
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! And we are most grateful for the support of FoodBank Lakeside!
One special group donates towards buying chickens for the Kids' Kitchen meals. The group is called the "Chicken Chicks & Roosters". These donors generously pre-pay to provide chickens to be purchased for the Kids' Kitchen 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!
You can appreciate we need regular donations towards paying for the cost food for the Kids' Kitchen meals.
If you wish to support this initiative, you can direct your donations to FoodBank Lakeside, because they provide the money for the food for the five Kids' Kitchens and for the renal patients we assist.
Or you can support the Poco a Poco San Pedro kitchen run by Anita, which currently is located on the terrace of her home. But once the Community Center is built, it will be moved there.
Families who receive 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...