Please support our 2021 Community Kitchen Program to help the needy residents of San Pedro Itzicán and La Peña
With COVID-19 - we could not risk the already vulnerable people in these areas getting this illness 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.
For social distance reasons, all our educational programs were initially suspended. Our focus in March 2020 had to be to help people who need food - with emphasis particularly on providing food for the elderly and people with renal problems, and keeping the Community Kitchen program open to feed over 80 children five days a week. (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 have been renting oxygen concentrators to help people with breathing problems (due to Covid or other pre-existing illnesses). Please read more about this by clicking on this link. Please help us if you can.
When everything was shut down in mid-March 2020, 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.
When things got a little calmer in August, and people were back working, the focus returned to the needs of the children. So five days a week we re-started the meal program for 80 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.
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).
Of course we had not budgeted for the crisis but we did the best we could in the circumstances. So all donations are still most happily accepted! And we are most grateful for the support of
For the Community Kitchen, we collect food (meat bones) and other supplies from a number of businesses - and we cook those up to create meals for the children.
One group donates towards buying chickens for the Community Kitchen meals. The group is called the "Chicken Chicks & Roosters". They pay for two chickens to be purchased each week and used in the Community Kitchen program. We get a two huge bags of chickens at cost, for around 800 pesos a week.
Our grateful thanks to these donors and Rita Phillips who coordinates the current Los Sabinos Chicken Chicks and Roosters. But we are now (April 2021) looking to create a second group to help with the cost of chicken for La Peña and another village who is asking for food.
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!
We originally started providing despensas in November 2018, organized by Patricia Moran, and provided monthly deliveries of fresh vegetables and fruit, dry goods of beans, rice, and other needed supplies, and given to families most in need. Many really poor families need this help as they have no one else to help them.
But Covid arrived and changed everything.
So we are reaching out to ask if you can donate towards some food and dry goods and sanitary supplies for these families. We are usually going out to San Pedro to deliver supplies, every Wednesday.
If you can support this program we would be most grateful. People really need help right now. 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.
Even soap and water are not always available in homes...
Many people in these communities are facing many medical issues - especially renal failure. in 2019, 18 people died from renal failure. Many are 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. (There is much distrust of the water provided by the city.)
But there is also 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.
Besides food, if you have anything to donate, we will pick up your donations. If you have items you would like donate that can be sold locally (in bazaars), Kinda Bazaar, Kinda Not, Todo Bueno and Mia's resale shops will accept items in our name (tell them its for Poco a Poco/the Brigada Estatal).
Household supplies, furniture, personal hygiene items, medicines and clothing are always needed!