The Kids' Kitchen Program
An estimated 70% of children in the San Pedro Itzicán area suffer from malnutrition, which is a major risk factor for kidney disease (that is so prevalent in the area). So, providing children a healthy meal has a huge added benefit!
When we had to close our office to the public from March through August 2020, the children lined up to receive food, and took it home to eat. Then in January 2021 the Kids' Kitchen area reopened in San Pedro, five days a week, initially for more than 100 children.
Foodbank Lakeside provided funding for the food for the initial Kids' Kitchens and for the renal patients. Now they fund a new organization, CreSer A.C. (Grow, Create, Believe), as they took over running five of the Kid's Kitchens. They help a great deal in the area, providing education, food and growing food, and are feeding 520 children, five days a week.
In August 2023, the Kids' Kitchen that was at our old office, moved to the terrace on Anita's home and is run and organized by Anita and Poco a Poco. This is not an ideal location because it's in someone's private home, but it will be moved to the community center area as soon as it's ready.
Anita's gets donations of food which she shares and also uses in the kids' kitchen that she runs. But she is feeding 120 children, five days a week. And the numbers are going up! She has to get all the food, get it prepared and cooked up, and served to the children. With the help of one cook, in three sittings because of space. Poco a Poco pay a small stipend to the woman who does the cooking with Anita and contribute towards the food costs.
But we - Poco a Poco - still have other costs involved to provide this program. Maintenance and running of the truck to get supplies, is expensive.
An example of how much it costs to feed 120 children. In November 2023, we had a distribution of sweaters made by the Needlepusher's group of Ajijic - giving out 150 sweaters! As a treat, we took along food for the kids - but not enough for 150 children! 1,400 pesos did not buy enough bread and ham - it seemed like masses of food to us!
But Anita does not usually serve bread because its too expensive, and certainly not ham! (We should have spent more.) But that's $80 for ONE meal and it was not enough food. Anita finds ways to buy inexpensive but healthy food, with vegetables and fruit. She is spending around 5,000 pesos a week right now - ($300 US a week). But we don't have the funds to cover that amount!
Contact us if you want to help!
With COVID-19 there were many vulnerable people in these areas getting ill. Despite many efforts, over 30 people died. To read more information on what we did during COVID-19, click HERE.
In March 2020 our focus was to help people who desperately needed food - with emphasis particularly on providing food for the elderly and people with renal problems, and keeping the Kids' Kitchen program open.
People were desperate, so we started providing despensas (basic food supplies) to over 2,000 families - each week. Thanks to support from FoodBank Lakeside and other generous donors, we helped more than 50 kidney patients in the villages east of Chapala with extra food and water. From mid March - mid-August 2020 we were having to raise over 105,000 pesos each week to pay for food (around $4,250 US a week).
We were very grateful when people started to go back to work in August 2020, the focus returned to the needs of the children.
If you are able to financially assist us with our work, it would be most appreciated. Gracias!
One special group donates towards buying chickens for the Community Kitchen meals. The group is called the "Chicken Chicks & Roosters". These donors generously pre-pay to provide chickens to be purchased for the Community Kitchen meals.
Our grateful thanks to these donors and Rita Phillips and Sandy Lindsay, who coordinate the Los Sabinos "Chicken Chicks and Roosters".
Because Anita is convinced that these meals are saving lives and saving children from having renal problems. The monies now go to Foodbank Lakeside. But we need more Chicken Chicks & Roosters!
Even soap and water are not always available in homes... so the kids have to wash their hands before they get food at the Kids' Kitchens
To continue feeding children - your donations are so important. Thank you for anything you can provide.
Click on this link if you want to donate to us, or email us here if you want to help the kitchen at Anita's house.
It was not easy or possible to do everything during the COVID-19 crisis but we know people realized how invaluable Anita and her team are to their communities.
We still believe in "A Hand up not a hand out", so families receiving dispenses volunteer to work in their communities. Sometimes this is clearing areas of garbage or helping with other projects. People don't like hand outs - but by working to help others, they are finding pride.