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Finding Local Solutions to Weather the Ongoing Global Food Crisis
Posted By Cesiah Magaña On November 30, 2009 @ 1:47 am In Country Staff | 1 Comment
The entire world is going through a severe economic crisis, and these difficult conditions have also produced a food crisis in many countries around the globe.
México’s economy is not in good shape, and although México has not had a major food shortage; the main problem has been the constantly rising food cost and the distribution of the grains. Families can no longer afford to buy supplies for their children.
According to the social development secretary of state, most poor families in México spend more than 70 percent of their income just to feed their family.
Considering the cost of such basics as corn, beans, rice and other supplies, families have very little and barely any money left to cover the rest of their needs.
Rising costs, fuel costs and natural events, such as the drought in the north and central part of México or the floods in the south, harm the crops and leave the communities devastated.
Economy is normally measured with two basic indicators, income and expenses, and for these families, their income is lower and their expenses are higher.
Lack of employment, low wages and rising food prices have combined to worsen the plight of families here in Tabernillas and everywhere in the country.
The program director and other leadership from the Gethsemane Compassion-assisted program are clearly aware of the difficult situation the families here face and have taken the initiative to provide an answer to their community.
The church received some information about a food bank working in a city nearby, so they applied for assistance and have been able to receive regular support to help the families in the program and the community.
Mobilizing child development centers to find and utilize resources already available within their own community is one of the ways we have responded to this crisis. In this way, the local community is empowered to find local and long-term solutions.
The food bank is an organization that works in association with the main grocery stores, markets, producers and food distributors in the country.
Whenever there is extra stock of any product or when a particular article is not selling well, it is donated to the food bank in the area. The food bank has different beneficiaries in the most needy areas of their region, and the food is donated to the organizations with a commitment to take it to the most needy families. Gethsemane is a beneficiary of the Toluca Food Bank.
Each week the church receives whatever one of the largest grocery stores in the city has in stock for them. Sometimes they receive dairy products, fruits and vegetables, canned food, and other products close to expiration but still good to eat.
The church director and some other leaders pick the food up from the food bank and bring it up to the community to distribute among the Compassion-assisted families and the rest of the community. They always have some pastries and bread, which are very valued among the families here.
Families often buy groceries, fruit and vegetables for only a fraction of the regular price. In the community store, each piece of bread costs 30 cents and is not affordable, but here families buy three pieces for the same price.
Even after the six months the food bank has been working here, children at the child development center are still able to enjoy good, nutritious meals twice a week. While they are in the program they receive tutoring, and on Saturdays all the children come for an entire program that includes sports and Bible classes.
Our church partners have been challenged to continue providing excellent development opportunities to their children in the midst of this unprecedented economic crisis. The challenge rises up like a huge obstacle, but we know there is nothing impossible to God.
The food bank is one response that has come like the bread falling from heaven in the times of the Israelites.
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