Two years ago, a pandemic upended everything, and Feed the Hungry launched the biggest food relief effort ever conducted in San Miguel de Allende. We responded by revamping our operations to feed entire families after our school kitchens were forced to close. Neighborhood groups responded by picking up bags of food from Feed the Hungry to distribute directly in their colonias. Our supporters responded with an outpouring of donations. These actions enabled us to provide food supplies to thousands of desperate people affected by the economic crisis.
At long last, our school kitchens are reopening, allowing us to resume our traditional school meals program. And our Early Childhood Nutrition program is now operating in 10 communities, helping children not yet of school age—as well as their mothers—avert malnutrition.
We are happy to see children once again enjoying our hot school meals, and find that we can begin to scale back the Feed the Families emergency response program. But our expanded outreach during the pandemic revealed to us the dire conditions in many more communities than we typically visit. We became more inspired than ever to find ways to help, and are considering various approaches to address this “new normal.”
As a result, this month we are piloting a new Extended Alimentation program in three communities. Our nutritionists will work closely with specific families that we have identified as severely malnourished and provide food and education tailored to their circumstances. Health assessments will be frequently conducted and recorded to gauge the effects of the program. Later in the year we hope to have the metrics and the funding to expand it to more beneficiaries.
In addition, we are aware of the importance of not only food, but also of clean water and adequate hydration for health. We know that some communities have little to no water available locally, while others have water that is contaminated. Water testing is currently being conducted in all of our school kitchens, and various solutions are being researched.
We have always believed that the future of Mexico depends on the vitality of its children. Therefore, our mission is to provide the nutrition that they need to grow and to thrive, and to educate their families on good eating habits to ensure the sustainability of our programs.
I invite you to read on for details on our goals and commitments for 2022. And as always, I thank you for your support.
– Al Kocourek, President, Feed the Hungry San Miguel Inc.