Our Kids' Kitchen Program helps the needy residents of San Pedro Itzicán, Mezcala, La Peña and Los Mangoes
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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 the Brigada office was closed to the public from March through August 2020, the children lined up to receive food, and took it home to eat. 

The amazing team of mothers in San Pedro do the cooking, and since January 2021 the Kids' Kitchen area is again open to the children in San Pedro, 5 days a week.  This program initially provided food for more than 100 children, five days a week.

Foodbank Lakeside is now providing the funding for the food for the Kids' Kitchens and for the renal patients we help.  If you wish to donate towards food, please direct your donations to them.  Poco a Poco still have costs involved to provide this program:  we order and collect all the food in our truck, get the food all cooked up, and then delivered to the different locations - five days a week!  And we also provide small stipends to the women and youth who do the work.



In February 2021, community members asked for more help, so we provided food for children in La Peña and Los Mangoes (a part of San Pedro).  By June 2021 we were feeding 310 children, five days a week.  Initially the children lined up to fill their containers with food, as there was no covered area to feed them.  It was messy and difficult during the rainy season. 

And then a wonderful donor offered to pay for the two areas to be covered and provide a lock up storage room!  https://foodbanklakeside.org/san-pedro/.  The official opening of Los Mangoes and La Peña Kids' Kitchen was held on November 17, 2021, with the donor, representing her family, present for the event.  Thank you so much Anne, Scott and family! 
By July 2022 - we are now feeding 735 children - five days a week in six locations...  the need continues and so does all the work...
Please click on the link below if you can help support this program!

With COVID-19 - we could not risk the already vulnerable people in these areas getting ill, though despite all efforts, over 30 people died.  To read more information on what we are doing right now for the COVID-19 situation, 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.  Because of covid rules, we had to close the area where the children were fed. (Some of these children do not have a "home" to go back to...  so this meal is really important to them.)

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).    

 

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

We know there have been many deaths due to Covid in the San Pedro Itzicán area, but there is no local testing and people fear going to hospital.  So they stay at home. 

 

We rented many oxygen concentrators to help people with breathing problems (due to Covid or other pre-existing illnesses).  This was a very expensive decision, but it saved lives.  Please read more about this by clicking on this link.  Please help us if you can.

Do watch this video on YouTube about how the FoodShare program changed since COVID-19...  

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 who coordinates the Los Sabinos "Chicken Chicks and Roosters".  Because Anita is convinced that these meals are saving lives and saving children from having renal problems, we have expanded this program and we now providing food for over 750 children in Mezcala, San Pedro, la Peña and and Los Mangoes. We need more Chicken Chicks & Roosters!
Chicken
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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

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To continue the work of the Kids' Kitchens - your donations are so important.  Thank you for anything you can provide.
Click on this link if you want to donate via Foodbank Lakeside or email us
here and we will get back to you..

During our original FoodShare program, because of our "A Hand up not a hand out", all the families receiving dispenses provide volunteer work in their community. 
 
During Covid this still continued - people clearing areas of garbage or helping with the Kids' Kitchenss. So the people are finding pride.  It's not easy or possible to do everything during the current COVID-19 crisis but we know people realize how invaluable the Brigada team is to their communities. 

We still believe in "A Hand up not a hand out", so families receiving dispenses offer to 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.  

Many people in these communities are facing many medical issues - especially renal failure.  in 2019, 18 people died from renal failure.  Many were young children!  This is terrible!  Children aged 5 years of age are already showing signs of renal failure.   (The most usual cause for this appears to be  1.  genetics, 2.  pollution and 3. malnutrition.) 

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 - such as water.  (People don't trust the quality of the water they get from hoses connected around the town.) 
 
And there is widespread malnutrition.  Young children, if not provided with enough protein and fresh vegetables or fruit, are very susceptible to renal failure.  Over 70 families in the area have been identified in 2021 as having renal failure patients in their households.  So sad.
 
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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.