Puerto Rico Food Bank, Bayer team up to deliver food boxes in Juana Díaz, Santa Isabel
Since the first week of April, the Puerto Rico Food Bank has been delivering food boxes to families at risk of facing of food insecurity in six communities in the towns of Juana Díaz and Santa Isabel.
This effort is made possible through a grant from the Bayer Fund, the agricultural company’s philanthropic arm.
Through this initiative, the Food Bank will prepare and deliver food boxes once a month for 11 months to the community leaders of Las Ollas and Playita Cortada in Santa Isabel, and Arús, Manzanilla, Galicia, and Collores in Juana Díaz.
They will then deliver these to those families identified as being extremely food insecure or at risk of hunger.
To date, some 37,500 pounds of food have been provided through this initiative, benefiting some 1,500 families in these communities. With this collaboration — which will run through February 2022 — both organizations seek to continue assisting families who face food shortages in their homes because of the COVID 19 pandemic.
“We’re very grateful for Bayer Crop Science’s support, which has allowed us to reach so many families in need in the communities of Juana Díaz and Santa Isabel. This pandemic has disproportionately affected rural areas, so it’s imperative to attend to them with priority,” Denise L. Santos, president of the Puerto Rico Food Bank, said.
This grant to the Food Bank will provide funds for two programs that the nonprofit has been executing for several years, with modifications due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These are “La Mochila Alegre” and “La Alacena Móvil.” The first is a kid-focused food box to provide meals for children ages 3-14. The food available in these boxes has been modified to suit children, maintaining the nutritional value and content they need for their growth. The Puerto Rico Food Bank prepared these food boxes to meet Feeding America standards, with local tastes in mind.
The latter effort is a food box for seniors, also designed to meet Feeding America standards in collaboration with the Health Department and the College of Nutritionists and Dietitians of Puerto Rico.
“In keeping with our institutional mission, summarized in the phrase: ‘Health for all, hunger for no one,’ Bayer has taken on the task of identifying community partners that will allow us to make that mission a reality on the island,” said Miguel Pereira, leader of government affairs in Puerto Rico at Bayer Crop Science.
“Fortunately, we’ve been able to establish an alliance with the Puerto Rico Food Bank, to meet the food needs of a significant number of our neighbors more effectively in Juana Díaz and Santa Isabel,” he said.