On April 16 and 17, non-profit organization Feed the Hungry San Miguel kickstarted the operation of two new school kitchens in the rural communities of Salitrillo and San José de Allende, respectively.
In Salitrillo an already existing space in elementary school Pedro Moreno was adapted to function as a school kitchen. This was possible thanks to the financial support of a donor and thanks to the collaboration and support of the school principal, maestra Tania Ortiz Blanco. After exhaustive work and joint effort from the nutrition and operations staff of Feed the Hungry San Miguel, and thanks to the participation of two volunteer mothers who will perform the cooking, it will be possible to provide balanced, hot, tasty meals to 66 children every school day.
For the school kitchen in the community of San José de Allende, a generous San Miguel architect donated prefabricated structures, sinks, work surfaces and labor/supervision. An existing space was adapted as a kitchen and a dining hall was also built within the Ignacio Allende elementary school. Every school day 160 elementary school students and 50 kindergarten students from the same community will be fed. Thanks to the support of Mtra. Rosa María Hernández Santoyo, the school’s principal; and thanks to the participation of a total of 6 volunteer mothers, a paid cook, and the team from Feed the Hungry San Miguel.
Amistad Canada has made a remarkable difference in the lives of more than 200 school children in two disadvantaged communities near San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico. The two Amistad Angels’ school kitchens opened last year, provide hot, nutritious lunches to children who often come to school hungry.
On March 20, 2018, two kitchens sponsored by Amistad Canada were visited by a group including Mark O’Neill and Marc Egnal from Amistad Canada, and Feed the Hungry San Miguel (FTHSM) representatives Al Kocourek, President, Feed the Hungry San Miguel, Inc.; Gifford Moody (President, Feed the Hungry, A.C.); Olivia Muñiz Rodríguez, Chris Peeters, and Diana Rodríguez Rodríguez.
Remarkable testimonials praised the far-reaching impact of the new kitchens. With Amistad Canada’s support, FTHSM not only operates the facilities for preparing food, but also delivers all the needed ingredients each week. FTHSM also creates the nutritionally-balanced menus and trains the mothers and chefs who prepare the meals. At the Los González school, one of the teachers explained how the students no longer suffer from hunger pangs or miss school days because of malnutrition. She invited comments from the children, and several of them described how much happier they’ve been since the program began.
At the Puerto de Sosa school, the teachers and children there took the delegation into their hearts with their warm reception. Every member received a rose and sincere thanks from the students, as well as a serenade by their choir and a brief recital by a recorder group. Joining the children in a delicious lunch (spaghetti, tortillas, fritters made of potatoes and chick peas, and more), everyone cleaned their plates and the children awarded the menu (which changes every day) five stars.
It was a very special morning for the delegation. At both schools, Marc Egnal spoke briefly telling teachers and students how delighted Amistad Canada was to work with them, and noting that many Canadians strongly support this program.
To cap off the morning, Amistad discussions with Al Kocourek and others from Feed the Hungry indicated that because of continuing generous donations, Amistad Angels will be able to sponsor two additional school kitchens this year.
More photos of the visit to Puerto de Sosa: https://photos.app.goo.gl/oj3CzH3NoJAqI8tU2
More photos of the visit to Los González: https://photos.app.goo.gl/WCq4remDZRtl1CmD3
(All images courtesy of Marc Egnal of AMISTAD Canada.)
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We are thrilled to announce the appointment of two new members of our Board of Trustees: Ms. Diane Largman and Ms. Kathryn West.
Diane Largman came to San Miguel de Allende from Philadelphia in 1991 with her late husband, Billy. Right away they became active in local charities and both served as presidents of Patronato Pro Niños. One day in the late 90s, Ms. Largman drove peer counselors to a ranch on the outskirts of Los Rodríguez for CASA and she noticed that the children didn’t look well fed. She approached Feed the Hungry San Miguel and started delivering food out to the ranch. In 2012, after Ms. Largman’s husband passed away, she decided to get actively involved in FTHSM as an advisory board member. Her decision was motivated by the people involved in the organization and by the mission
of the organization: “No child in San Miguel shall know the pain of hunger”.
Kathryn West and her husband Will Brien – a former Trustee of FTHSM – moved to San Miguel de Allende in 2014. Both became involved in FTHSM, learning through friends that it was a “terrific organization with a meaningful and important mission”. As a result, Kathryn has been part of the volunteer Monday food packing crew and has been part on the organization’s advisory board since 2016. She earned her BA in Government at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts and received an MBA with high honors from Boston University. From 1968 to 1997, Kathryn held increasingly responsible management positions in several renowned institutions within the Boston area. For over 16 years, Ms. West was Vice President of Real Estate & Facilities at Partners HealthCare System in Massachusetts, a not-for- profit, integrated health care system founded in 1994 and one of the leading biomedical research organizations in the USA.
“Both Diane and Kathryn were elected unanimously to serve as trustees. Having been part of our advisory board for some time, we knew that with their collective experiences, they are more than qualified not only to be outstanding Board Members, but also to bring exciting new perspectives to Feed the Hungry San Miguel”, concluded Al Kocourek, our current President.
Welcome Diane and Kathy!