The Food Bank of Puerto Rico will launch seven simultaneous projects under the “Mobile Pantry” program, which runs from this month through April 2021.
The social action projects will directly benefit 5,520 people suffering from food insecurity and will give continuity to the campaign “Zero Hunger Puerto Rico” to raise local awareness against hunger, the nonprofit’s President Denise Santos said.
“We want to make the public aware of the reality of food insecurity with a concrete action plan,” said Santos.
“It’s crucial that the entire population is aware of the food insecurity of disadvantaged and forgotten populations: the elderly, children, mothers head of families, the sick, the unemployed, those displaced by earthquakes and other disasters,” she added.
The seven projects are as follows:
– 600 older adults will receive food deliveries at home in the municipalities of Arecibo, Caguas, Guaynabo, Jayuya, Juncos, and Las Piedras. AARP selected individuals who live alone, who have no transportation, and with low income and will deliver food to them.
– 665 caregivers of long-term hospitalized children will receive food vouchers. The Puerto Rico Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Bayamón and the health centers served by the San Jorge Children & Women’s Hospital in San Juan and the Pediatric Hospital Fundación Hospital in Río Piedras will participate in this initiative.
– 50 heads of households with infants from 0 to 3 years of age exposed to food insecurity will receive monthly groceries. In addition, 50 vouchers will be awarded to purchase baby food. This project was achieved through a collaborative agreement with the Network for the Rights of Children and Youth of Puerto Rico.
– 2,700 people who have lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19 will receive emergency groceries.
– 100 children will benefit from the expansion of the “Mochila Alegre” program that provides food to minors between the ages of three and 12 who depend on the school cafeteria for their meals.
– 1,250 residents will benefit from efforts in communities facing food insecurity or who are affected by seismic or storm activity, specifically in the island’s central and southern towns, where there has been a high poverty.
– 105 patients with chronic conditions who have low income or food insecurity will receive monthly snacks for eight months through alliances with the Puerto Rican Epilepsy Society, the Puerto Rico Renal Council and the Puerto Rico Alzheimer’s Association. These organizations will identify the participants and deliver food to them.