In Puerto Rico, 56 percent of children live in families that suffer from food instability, according to 2011 data from the National Council of La Raza. Pursuing to uphold its social commitment to children, FirstBank recently participated in the Puerto Rico Food Bank’s “Mochila Alegre” program, through a donation that will allow students in the municipalities of Cabo Rojo, Juana Diaz, Barranquitas and Peñuelas to take home backpacks with nonperishable food during weekends and vacation periods.
“FirstBank’s commitment is to support and join community efforts such as ‘Mochila Alegre.’ Although we are in the 21st century, statistics show that we still have much to do, and a little more than half of our children have needs for food at home,” said Norberto Justiniano, branch manager at FirstBank Cabo Rojo. “We thank the Food Bank for making us part of this important initiative, which started today with the children participation in the Social Action Center in Cabo Rojo.”
Participating students between the ages of three and 12 years-old participating in the “Mochila Alegre” program are selected by social workers after evaluating the need in their homes and completing a screening questionnaire. The backpacks delivered to children include: canned meats, canned fruits and vegetables, UHT milk, dry cereal, nutrition bars, peanut butter, juices, biscuits, yogurt and supplements, among other edible goods.