La Cuadrilla is a rural community of 584 inhabitants (INEGI 2020 census) in 142 households. Fewer than half of the dwellings have toilets or sanitary facilities. The average level of schooling is 7 years.
Esmeralda, one of our beneficiaries in this community, is a 29-year-old mother of two children ages one and four.
She and her husband barely survive on less than $10 a day earned from working at a nearby greenhouse. They work six days a week from dawn to dusk.
She is one of thousands who line up every two weeks to receive a food bag from Feed the Hungry. These supplies offer a good variety of food to provide nutrition for the whole family. She also participates in our Early Childhood Nutrition program, which provides sustenance for children who have been weaned but are not yet in school. In addition to providing meals to both the mothers and their children, the program is set up to diagnose and monitor the children’s conditions as well as educate the mothers about proper nutrition through informational workshops.
Esmeralda and her children present with conditions of malnutrition. She is surprised that her baby eats so much, yet is underweight. She has committed to following cooking and recipe instructions from our chefs and nutritionists for six months, and we hope that with the food and education we provide, that and she and her children will become healthier.
She depends on the food bag from Feed the Hungry for grains and plant-based protein. She, like many of her neighbors, can rarely afford to eat animal-based protein. She does not have a refrigerator. Propane gas is expensive, so she cooks with wood when she can’t afford to buy gas. Her boss at the greenhouse lets her and her coworkers pick the “quelites” to bring home to feed her children for a source of iron. Quelites is a Nahuatl word that means “edible weed”; they grow where a lot of irrigation takes place.
There are currently 20 mothers and 23 infants that benefit from the Early Childhood Nutrition program in La Cuadrilla. And until schools closed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Feed the Hungry served 115 meals a day to students at the kinder and the elementary school, as well as to the adolescents attending tele-secundaria. We hope to resume providing hot lunches there when classes return to a normal schedule and we can reopen the school kitchen. Please continue to support our mission so families like Esmeralda’s have nutritious food to sustain them.