Feed the Hungry San Miguel currently reaches out to 37 of the poorest of the poor communities in the San Miguel de Allende municipality. We furnish and operate kitchens in each village. Through these school-kitchens more than 4,000 children are offered a carefully prepared, well-balanced meal every school day.
Because they are required to attend school to get the meal, attendance in “our” schools increases 15 to 20%. The majority of them are in very remote areas and many children walk for miles in each direction to receive a hot meal and attend school.
We commit to remain in a village for as long as the community feels we are needed. It is this time honored commitment that has created the deep trust and mutual respect which allows Feed the Hungry San Miguel to initiate additional education and community development programs and introduce other NGO’s with whom we develop cooperative programs to the villages where we maintain our school-kitchens.
We also deliver foodstuffs for the daily meals of hundreds of orphans, children with disabilities, and some elderly who are served by six local urban charities.
Following an evaluation of the nutritional needs of the children that Feed the Hungry San Miguel serves; the nutrition staff develops appropriate menus and recipes. In most of the communities, cooks are hired, trained, and paid a year-round salary and benefits, while in the remaining kitchens the cooking and serving is done by a small group of mothers who volunteer. Both paid staff and volunteer cooks receive continuous on-the-job training related to meal preparation, nutrition, and kitchen hygiene.
Kitchen supervisors visit the school kitchens weekly to inventory foodstuffs, write up the weekly delivery orders, and inspect the kitchens for compliance with hygiene and sanitation standards. A great deal of attention is paid to making the nutritionally balanced meals as tasty as possible to encourage a child’s enthusiastic acceptance of healthy eating habits and new foods.
Feed the Hungry San Miguel carefully selects the local sources for the purchase of its foodstuffs – meat, poultry, fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy products, and dry goods – to ensure quality, fair pricing, and reliable availability. It is estimated that on an annual basis, over 30 tons of foodstuffs are transported to the warehouse facility and delivered to 37 school locations and 7 local charities on a weekly basis.
FAMILY NUTRITION EDUCATION
Family Nutrition Educational workshops are conducted for the mothers of the children we serve, by our staff nutritionist. Individualized counseling is provided to the mothers of children categorized as severely malnourished, or obese. The health and nutrition of each individual child served by Feed the Hungry San Miguel is evaluated on a semi-annual basis to identify improvements or deficiencies in the child’s nutritional health.
Obesity, a serious health problem, is a phenomenon in developing countries where many people struggle with food scarcity. Since 2010, Mexico ranks number one in the world in infant obesity. Improving diet quality is the single most important preventive and remedial answer to addressing this problem; it is this objective that underlies the Family Nutrition Education program.