Carol's Beans & Rice update

by lorenzo @, Monday, May 11, 2020, 14:49 (53 days ago)

Thanks to your compassion and kind hearts, Carol’s Beans & Rice program is providing despensas for 750 needy unemployed families. Each despensa is calculated to provide basic nutrition to a family of four for two weeks. We are also providing weekly food donations valued at $2500. pesos to each of two community kitchens that are feeding approximately 500 families daily.

Our Mexican community is enthusiastically pitching in to help. A dozen local volunteers are handling distribution and delivery. We have established committees in several colonias to identify the families most in need. They provide us with a list of names. El Plateado, our building materials supplier, has volunteered trucks and drivers to aid in deliveries. We ensure that all distribution/delivery volunteers have reusable face masks and clear plastic face shields.

Merza, our community-spirited grocery store, is providing all our nutritional supplies at wholesale prices, about a 25% discount. Merza employees prepare the individual food baskets, each ready for distribution to the families. Merza’s wonderful participation has permitted us to increase the number of families to whom we may provide much-needed assistance.

In addition to your individual generous donations, we have received three matching grant challenges; one for $10,000.usd, and two for $5,000.usd each. All three matching grants were fully subscribed by new donors within 48 hours. One matching grant was from a California woman, unknown to us, who has vacationed in Zihuatanejo. She searched the Internet for a respected trustworthy food bank to which she could donate. We are very grateful she discovered Por Los Ninos. We anticipate another matching grant of $1,000.usd this week.

With the donations in hand, we anticipate contributing despensas at the current level for another six weeks. Alas, the need will continue. Unemployment and hunger are likely to continue through the beginning of our Winter tourist season in mid-November. We are painfully aware of the potential for “donor fatigue”, and can only hope it doesn’t severely affect our abilities to help feed our neighbors during this horrible crisis.

From our hearts, and on behalf of our Zihua community, we sincerely thank each and every one of you for your caring contributions.

Carol's Beans & Rice update

by ourdub, Monday, May 11, 2020, 17:29 (52 days ago) @ lorenzo

We would like to make an ongoing monthly donation to PorLos Ninos. Do you know how much a despensa costs. If we could find that out it would be helpful. I think it's remarkable what is being done and to be able to feed as many families as possible for 2 weeks is our intention. Advise.please........

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Carol's Beans & Rice update

by Sandy feet, Seattle, Monday, May 11, 2020, 19:03 (52 days ago) @ ourdub

If you click on the envelope next to Lorenzo's name you can send an email.

Carol's Beans & Rice update

by lorenzo @, Monday, May 11, 2020, 21:44 (52 days ago) @ ourdub

Carol's two-week despensa is valued at $400 pesos for a family of four. The city of Zihuatanejo weekly despensas are valued at approximately $130 pesos. We are focusing on the families out of El Centro. They often fall thru the food distribution cracks.

Carol's Beans & Rice update

by ourdub, Tuesday, May 12, 2020, 09:02 (52 days ago) @ lorenzo

Am I understanding this correctly - that 400 pesos feeds a family of four for two weeks? If that's correct we'd like to make a monthly contribution ongoing of $50 U.S. per month to start........what's best way to do this via credit card ...

Carol's Beans & Rice update

by lorenzo @, Tuesday, May 12, 2020, 13:08 (52 days ago) @ ourdub

The easiest way to donate is to visit the donation page of our website, www.porlosninos.com . If you are Canadian, select Amisted Canada to receive a tax receipt. All may make a PayPal contribution to Beans & Rice, or any other donation category. The PayPal receipt is your tax receipt for U.S. citizens.

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Carol's Beans & Rice update

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Tuesday, May 12, 2020, 09:06 (52 days ago) @ lorenzo

Carol's two-week despensa is valued at $400 pesos for a family of four. The city of Zihuatanejo weekly despensas are valued at approximately $130 pesos. We are focusing on the families out of El Centro. They often fall thru the food distribution cracks.

One of the people working with Carol scolded my wife when she told him she was helping people here in el Centro. He said the despensas were only for the people in the colonias in the partes altas where your organization and others unwittingly helped people to invade and settle our ecological zones, something you know I tried to warn against after we all got fooled by the Neza school. Yes, there are people in need here in el Centro, too, that no one is helping, wondering why they are overlooked for being law-abiding citizens while the folks on stolen lands in the partes altas get all the attention. It is certainly a difficult conundrum for many of us. I'm just happy to see anyone get assistance right now because the need is so great. All that other stuff has become moot but not forgotten.

Right now Carol's program is one of the most if not THE most important in our region. The assistance coming from any government organization is erratic, inadequate, and too often based on party affiliation, or at least that is the perception. Carol's Beans & Rice is a lifeline for the people she is reaching. The need is truly great if not already overwhelming. It will be interesting to see what remains of the community when the dust settles and we emerge from our refuges.

Apart from some cash assistance for the elderly and "cheap" loans to comerciantes, our federal government has been mostly absent from our lives apart from making us close our businesses. Some elected representatives on the federal level like our Senadora Nestora Salgado have been actively helping and trying to keep people fed, but the need is truly great and even our normally paternalistic political parties seem woefully inadequate. Our presidente municipal is dependent on our gobernador for support, and they are doing what they can, but absent federal assistance their response is greatly hampered. Thus the importance of what Carol is doing, and for which reason I hope no one is unintentionally omitted from receiving help because of their address.

Carol's Beans & Rice update

by lorenzo @, Tuesday, May 12, 2020, 10:11 (52 days ago) @ ZihuaRob
edited by lorenzo, Tuesday, May 12, 2020, 13:39

We are not intentionally ignoring El Centro. In fact, we provided your wonderful wife with the despensas she requested for local needy families. If a volunteer inappropriately scolded Lupita for her good work, I sincerely apologize.

Nor are we focusing our efforts on families in the parte alta. I am personally unaware of any dispensas in that area.

As you can imagine, Carol is overwhelmed with calls for assistance. Nearly all the requests are coming from outlying communities in our municipality. So there is where we have been directing most of our limited financial resources.

We have had to make a difficult decision in consultation with our advisory committee. Do we help feed more families once or twice? Or do we provide assistance for a fixed number of families for an extended period? We have chosen the long term approach.

The generosity of our compassionate donors is the defining factor; how many families? for how long? divided by the donations received. It is heartbreaking to not be able to provide assistance to every hungry family, but we simply lack the funds to help everyone. We wish we did and could expand the program.

By the way, we take great pains to avoid working with politicians on distribution decisions. We value our independence and transparency.

So we follow my father's wise advice and just "practice the art of the possible".

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Carol's Beans & Rice update

by Canada Pete @, Vancouver Island / San Jose / Houston, Tuesday, May 12, 2020, 13:31 (52 days ago) @ lorenzo

Keep up the GREAT work. As you know no good deed goes unpunished and there is never a shortage of Generals on the couch explaining how it should be done.

People who can, do. People who can't, teach. People who can't teach, complain about the doers and the teachers.

Regards and Best Wishes with your Mission.

--
In To The Wind , We Go

Carol's Beans & Rice update

by ladybug @, Barra de Potosi, Tuesday, May 12, 2020, 13:54 (52 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

So far we have not turned down anyone. We count on our volunteers to tell us who needs what. In Centro that person is Lupita and we are grateful she has been there because we wouldn't know who is who otherwise. I suspect the rude volunteer is not actually a volunteer because we only have one person who would be in contact with Lupita and that is Jose Bustos and he is my right hand guy and would never treat anyone with disrespect, especially Lupita.
We know that Rotary and Elizabeth Brady and a few restaurants are covering Centro and likely the parte alta as we are not. We count on Lupita for anyone getting missed and all of her clients are definitely getting missed for a number of reasons. We are trying very hard to not duplicate any other group including the government. When we are advised the government was in a particular colonia we don't go there unless we get a report that someone was missed. Rotary asks us where they should deliver.
We keep a data base of every delivery. So far we have people in Los Achotes, Los Almendros, Barrio Viejo, Barrio Nuevo, Pantla, 3 in Los Llanitos, Aqua de Correa, El Zarco and tons more in between but we don't not go home to home, we get a recomendation from someone we trust in the community and go from there. We have to be as efficient as we can as we know this isn't going to be over any time soon. We hope a bunch get called back to work so we can continue to help as many as possible. Our original plan was 600 families but we have already far exceeded that, now we just hope the donations keep coming because the need is certainly there.

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Carol's Beans & Rice update

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Tuesday, May 12, 2020, 14:43 (52 days ago) @ ladybug

So far we have not turned down anyone. We count on our volunteers to tell us who needs what. In Centro that person is Lupita and we are grateful she has been there because we wouldn't know who is who otherwise. I suspect the rude volunteer is not actually a volunteer because we only have one person who would be in contact with Lupita and that is Jose Bustos and he is my right hand guy and would never treat anyone with disrespect, especially Lupita.
We know that Rotary and Elizabeth Brady and a few restaurants are covering Centro and likely the parte alta as we are not. We count on Lupita for anyone getting missed and all of her clients are definitely getting missed for a number of reasons. We are trying very hard to not duplicate any other group including the government. When we are advised the government was in a particular colonia we don't go there unless we get a report that someone was missed. Rotary asks us where they should deliver.
We keep a data base of every delivery. So far we have people in Los Achotes, Los Almendros, Barrio Viejo, Barrio Nuevo, Pantla, 3 in Los Llanitos, Aqua de Correa, El Zarco and tons more in between but we don't not go home to home, we get a recomendation from someone we trust in the community and go from there. We have to be as efficient as we can as we know this isn't going to be over any time soon. We hope a bunch get called back to work so we can continue to help as many as possible. Our original plan was 600 families but we have already far exceeded that, now we just hope the donations keep coming because the need is certainly there.

The unfounded criticism was immediately resolved by Lupita at that moment. She is infinitely grateful for your help. I only mentioned the episode to illustrate my point in response to Lorenzo's remarks about helping the outlying communities. Some of them rely much less on tourism than we do in Zihuatanejo and it makes less sense to help folks who fish and farm, for example, than other folks who have been out of work with no income for over two months. ¡Gracias y saludos!

Carol's Beans & Rice update

by ladybug @, Barra de Potosi, Tuesday, May 12, 2020, 16:50 (51 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

Thanks Rob we also keep track of where the person worked before Covid and the majority of people are people in the hotel and restaurant business or some form of the tourist industry. You are right no sense helping fishermen or farmers as they are not affected as much. Trust me we are very thorough before we hand over anything. We have had to help quite a few seniors who were depending on family or neighbours to provide for them which is not in the cards now. It is very sad but if they were poor before this but managing then we expect them to continue on.

Carol's Beans & Rice update

by connie, Monday, May 11, 2020, 18:00 (52 days ago) @ lorenzo

Thanks so much, Lorenzo, and to Carol and to all the other volunteers of time, food, labor, money and equipment that makes this humanitarian effort possible. We all love Zihua and its wonderful people. Count on all of us to help more as it is needed.

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Carol's Beans & Rice update

by NaturalPace ⌂ @, Nanaimo, Tuesday, May 12, 2020, 14:09 (52 days ago) @ lorenzo

Thank you so much, Lorenzo, for your well written update. I anticipate, optimistically, that instead of donor fatigue we all discover how easy it is to help others and that we make it a "normal" part of our life instead of just a reaction to emergencies. I think that this could happen. With great respect to you and all YOU have done for others, the other community leaders, and to everyone who is committed to supporting our beautiful paradise. Thank you.

Carol's Beans & Rice update

by ladybug @, Barra de Potosi, Wednesday, May 13, 2020, 11:54 (51 days ago) @ NaturalPace

Another miracle! We received another generous donation yesterday that will give us a weeks worth of supplies but today another person offered to match donations up to $5000 USD to keep us going. We have now delivered more than 1000 food hampers. So far no one has been turned down. I hope we can keep that up. All donations are tax deductible in US, Canada and Mexico. porlosninos.com carol's rice and beans program.

Carol's Beans & Rice update

by islandgirl @, Cowichan Valley, Wednesday, May 13, 2020, 16:19 (51 days ago) @ ladybug

I wonder if you could tell us what a typical food hamper holds. I am thinking probably basic staples. I'm also comparing it to my running shopping list. The list helps me focus and get in and out of the store fast. But I've got things on it that must be considered luxuries. Parmesan cheese, English muffins, fruit. I think having an idea of what others are getting by on, will: 1) make me more thankful for what I do have; 2) encourage me to minimize my life, including my diet.
Thank you!

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Carol's Beans & Rice update

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Wednesday, May 13, 2020, 18:29 (50 days ago) @ islandgirl

I wonder if you could tell us what a typical food hamper holds. I am thinking probably basic staples. I'm also comparing it to my running shopping list. The list helps me focus and get in and out of the store fast. But I've got things on it that must be considered luxuries. Parmesan cheese, English muffins, fruit. I think having an idea of what others are getting by on, will: 1) make me more thankful for what I do have; 2) encourage me to minimize my life, including my diet.
Thank you!

Con todo respeto, Islandgirl, it's quite a long list, and at the end of Carol's busy day I'm sure it's a bit of a chore to type it all out. There is no Italian cheese or British bread. All of us are living on basics right now. Some of us might have a bit of chicken or fish once a week if we're lucky. Carol's put up lots of photos on her Facebook page and I've copied a lot of them on my own Facebook page available at the link at the bottom of this page so you can have a look at what's being bought and distributed to local families.

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Carol's Beans & Rice update

by Talley Ho @, Playa la Ropa, Wednesday, May 13, 2020, 20:49 (50 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

Tomorrow I will be posting a reminder about food drive number 2, and will include the list of requested items.

This time we purchased the items at Bodega Aurrera, and each package cost 200 pesos.

It is VERY basic, but when you are hungry.....

Carol's Beans & Rice update

by islandgirl @, Cowichan Valley, Thursday, May 14, 2020, 00:11 (50 days ago) @ Talley Ho

Thank you & Rob for replies. Yeah, I thought about editing to include 'no rush on replies, I know you are super busy', but I knew someone would help with answers. I don't do FB generally, so often miss these sorts of things.

Carol's Beans & Rice update

by ladybug @, Barra de Potosi, Thursday, May 14, 2020, 10:00 (50 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

I did answer it and it is 2 litres of milk, 2 lbs of rice, 2 lbs of beans, 2 lbs of maseaca to make tortillas, 2 litres of oil, chicken stock cubes, 2 tins of tuna, 8 rolls of toilet paper, powdered soap, 2 packages of pasta, 1 package of lentils, 1 litre of clorox,

Carol's Beans & Rice update

by ladybug @, Barra de Potosi, Thursday, May 14, 2020, 10:04 (50 days ago) @ ladybug

Yesterday I posted we had another offer to match donations up to 5000 USD, by the end of the day we had already received 2075. I am overwhelmed with the response but we just can't have families go hungry. Some of the stories are so horrific I have to send out a volunteer in the evening just in case even half of it is true but so far every extra trip was worth it and very necessary. We have amazing volunteers!

Carol's Beans & Rice update

by ladybug @, Barra de Potosi, Thursday, May 14, 2020, 10:05 (50 days ago) @ ladybug

Make that 2575! Thank you Canada Helps!

Carol's Beans & Rice update

by islandgirl @, Cowichan Valley, Thursday, May 14, 2020, 22:13 (49 days ago) @ ladybug

Thank you. I think those of us with fridges & freezers can't imagine how we would manage if we were to walk in those shoes. Maybe encourage us to share our blessings, too.