A Community We Support: Los Ricos de Abajo


The Feed the Hungry San Miguel kitchen in Los Ricos de Abajo opened in 2005. During school year 2023-2024, we are serving hot, nutritious meals to 53 students at the Naciones Unidas primaria (elementary) school and 10 students of the Helen Keller kinder (preschool), every school day. Our hydration program also provides clean water in large refillable jugs for the children in the classrooms and for food preparation in the school kitchen. 

Location Statistics

The community is 29 kilometers from the Feed the Hungry Center. This remote village is one of the most challenging for our volunteer drivers to access, especially during the rainy season—yet they make the trip every week during the school year. The latest census (2020) reported that the population of the community was 480 men, women, and children, residing in 118 households. Only 64% of households had indoor toilet or sanitary facilities. At that time, 34% were children age 14 or younger. The average school achievement for adults was 7 years; 7% of the adult population were illiterate. Only 45% of the adult population was employed.

Nutrition Report – School Year 2022-2023 

For the latest Nutrition Report, staff nutritionists assessed 45 students in primaria through height, weight, and body fat measurements.

The health assessment shows cases of both overweight and underweight, but with big improvements over the previous year. We now also record cases where the children are “at risk” of becoming overweight, as they are close to the range for that category. 

The results suggest a trend towards problems of overweight and obesity. A higher amount is shown in the incidence of cases with risk of overweight, and a decrease in problems of obesity and underweight.  

Regardless of weight, during the evaluations of the children we observed clinical signs that demonstrate a lack of vitamins A, C, D, K, B6, and B12, and minerals such as iron, zinc, calcium, and phosphorus. Long-term deficiency of these vitamins and minerals can trigger severe problems that can impact the health of children for their entire lives, so it is of utmost importance to continue to promote the consumption of foods that contain these nutrients.  

Health Assessment Results 2022-2023 vs 2021-2022
Condition School Year 2022-2023 School Year 2021-2022
Obese 0% 4%
Overweight 2% 27%
At risk of overweight 26% N/A
Normal 65% 44%
Light underweight 5% 24%
Moderate underweight 2% 0%
Severe underweight 0% 0%

Our intention is to customize the school lunch menus as needed for this population of students, and to continue to offer nutrition workshops for both children and their parents to provide guidance on healthy eating, good hygiene, and the importance of physical activity.  

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