Integro Foundation, a Puerto Rican nonprofit, raised more than $120,000 for the Food Bank of Puerto Rico through its “Feed Puerto Rico” campaign, which exceeded expectations by 20% and fed more than 12,000 families in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Feed Puerto Rico” launched in April, soon after Puerto Rico went into COVID-19 lockdown. The pandemic left more than 300,000 Puerto Ricans unemployed and almost 300,000 children without the benefit of school lunches, forcing thousands to turn to the Food Bank for help.
“We wanted to make sure that we met the basic needs, such as food, of the thousands of Puerto Ricans affected by school closures, job disruptions, and health risks,” said Integro Foundation’s Executive Director Antares Ramos-Álvarez.
The Food Bank of Puerto Ricoresponded to the crisis by launching its COVID-19 Emergency Program, to ensure that the pandemic does not perpetuate inequality disproportionately in communities of low-income people, relying on its network of community leaders to identify families that need immediate help with food during the pandemic.
The Food Bank matched “Feed Puerto Rico” donations 1:1 for a total of $120,107 raised. The campaign resulted in the delivery of more than 12,000 pre-packed, family-sized boxes of fresh food to families in need.
The emergency food boxes also supported local farmers during a time when many of their usual clients, including restaurants and hotels, are closed due to the pandemic.
“With many of our food distribution partners shut down, the Food Bank faced many challenges, but thanks to organizations like Integro we were able to feed thousands of people,” said Denise Santos, President of the Food Bank of Puerto Rico. “Integro’s donation also helped local farmers sell their products, ensuring they did not become food waste.”