Please support our 2021 Community Kitchen Program to help the needy residents of San Pedro Itzicán and La Peña
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An estimated 70% of children in the 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! 
 
Because the Brigada office was closed to the public from March through August 2020, children lined up to receive food, that they took it home to eat.  This was helping around 100 children, five days a week.
Community members asked for more help, so in February 2021, we also started providing food for children in La Peña and Mango (a part of San Pedro), and are now (June 2021) feeding 310 children, five days a week.  This costs 9,000 pesos each week (around $400 US).
The amazing team of mothers in San Pedro do the cooking, and since February 2021 the Brigada Community Kitchen area is open to the children in San Pedro, 5 days a week.  For La Peña and Mango, the children line up and fill their containers with food, as there is no centralized place to feed them.

With COVID-19 - we could not risk the already vulnerable people in these areas getting ill because there is no medical facility nearby that can help.  To read more information on what we are doing right now for the COVID-19 situation, click HERE.   

 

Our focus in March 2020 had to be to help people who needed food - with emphasis particularly on providing food for the elderly and people with renal problems, and keeping the Community Kitchen program open.  But due to 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.)

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.

When things shut down in mid-March 2020, people were desperate, so we started providing despensas (basic food supplies) to over 2,000 families - each week.  We also continued to support the more than 50 kidney patients in the villages east of Chapala with extra food and water.  From mid March until 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.  During parts of the lockdown, the children came and lined up with their own bowls, and received food to eat back at their home. 

In 2020, thanks to the enormous support provided by FoodBank Lakeside and other generous donors, the despensas we were giving out each week included 1 kg each of rice, beans and lentils and fruits and vegetables when they are donated.  We still continue to help our renal patients with extra food and water. 

 

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

An estimated 70% of children in the 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! 
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. We get a three huge bags of chickens at cost, for around 900 pesos a week.
 
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 310 children in San Pedro, la Peña and and Mango.  But we need funding to include these additional meals...  and we need more Chicken Chicks & Roosters!
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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!

So we are still reaching out to ask if you can donate towards the food for the Community Kitchen meals.  We usually go out to San Pedro to deliver supplies, on Wednesdays.  The need has not gone away!
If you can support this program we would be most grateful.  If you can help us, and would consider supporting us - just 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 is still continuing - people are clearing areas of garbage or helping with other projects.  So the people are finding pride.  It's not easy or possible to do everything during the current COVID-19 crisis but we hope people will realize how invaluable the Brigada team is to their communities. 
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Even soap and water are not always available in homes...

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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.
Community Kitchen food
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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.