Dear Friends, Supporters, and Volunteers,
Hello from San Miguel de Allende! Summer has finally arrived with the cooling rains and winds that we look forward to. I like to think all our dancing and praying helped it along. The school year ended July 14 and all the children get a break from school for seven weeks. We at Feed the Hungry San Miguel will use this time to recalibrate our programs, update equipment, and help prepare staff for the new school year beginning in August.
We’ve had a very successful year so far, opening two new large school kitchens serving more than 500 meals a day, bringing our total to over 5,000 meals served every school day. One of these communities, Peña Blanca, presented new challenges that were identified by our staff. Based on our nutritionists’ initial health assessments of the children, they prompted us to provide a breakfast as well as lunch. We also realized that the children needed urgent dental and medical care, which we are working to bring to Peña Blanca with the help of the Patronato Pro Niños organization.
While providing meals to school children is our core mission, we realize that a holistic approach is required to further the health and the well-being of the communities. Our Early Childhood Nutrition and Extended Alimentation programs provide sustenance to the youngest children as well as to the poorest families.
We are also providing clean water in the classrooms and nutrition counseling for mothers. Recently, we added cooking classes for children, led by our nutritionists and cooks. These interactive and educational sessions teach the moms and kids about meal preparation and the importance of a balanced diet. These are some of the things we think will go a long way to improve the lives of our beneficiaries. As we go forward, we will share with you the additional steps we hope to take to continue to provide aid where it is most needed.
This year we expect to add school kitchens in more communities. These will be smaller schools, yet each location presents unique challenges. As you can imagine, it’s not easy to build a kitchen in a nearly inaccessible location, with only occasional supplies of fresh water, and limited access to electricity. To that end, we were extremely fortunate to have architect Rafael Franco and Feed the Hungry driver coordinator Chip Swab lead the buildout of our latest kitchen. They both contributed time and materials and provided their years of experience in construction to make it possible. Without them, I am not sure what we would have been able to do.
We are now kicking off our Back to School Campaign to raise funds to continue our mission. Every dollar and peso counts – just USD$30 provides a daily meal for two children for a month! If you would like to donate your time, please visit our Volunteer Sign-up page.
Another way to help ensure that we can continue providing aid to the needy is to consider including Feed the Hungry San Miguel in your estate plans. Planned giving is a powerful way to leave a lasting legacy. We would be pleased to help you learn more about this opportunity.
Also, I can’t neglect to mention our annual “Walk, Run, and Bike for Food” challenge, coming up at the end of October. This is our most popular event, and Paola Juarez, along with our volunteers, work tirelessly to make sure this is a fun and rewarding day for all. This is a great opportunity to meet new people from the greater San Miguel community. We will share more information on how you can become involved as a participant, donor, or volunteer very soon.
Thank you for your support,
Mike Taylor, President, Feed the Hungry San Miguel