Chickens and vegetable seeds

Increasing food security during COVID-19 by equipping families to produce their own healthy food at home

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The Need

Impoverished families in Mexico are facing a grave food crisis. Food insecurity results from numerous factors, including national and international policies, fluctuation in food prices, natural disasters, armed conflicts and pandemics such as malaria and tuberculosis. Now, we must add the COVID-19 pandemic to that list, which has caused large-scale unemployment, economic crisis and lack of basic food staples available due to supply and demand issues. Vulnerable children are now at even greater risk of malnutrition and stunting.

Compassion Mexico has been delivering food and hygiene kits to families in need, but they knew these families needed a better long-term solution. Compassion Mexico and 172 local frontline church partners are committed to addressing the food crisis for their beneficiaries by equipping families to produce their own organic food at home through laying hens and vegetable gardens.

Human potential and natural resources make it possible for this intervention to succeed, since these rural regions of Mexico are fertile for planting vegetables, and families have the generational experience of raising poultry. Both options offer families the responsibility and pride of growing their own food sources so they won’t be so vulnerable to rising prices or food scarcity. The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the need for rural families to become resilient and self-sufficient to ensure their children have enough nutritious food to grow up healthy and strong.

Our Response

With your help, 4,395 families were selected in May 2021 based on their need and desire to produce their own food. Upon asking which option they would prefer, 1,274 families chose to plant vegetables, while 3,121 families preferred to raise chickens.

Next, partnership facilitators and centre and church leaders met to share information about food safety. Each family received a basic manual to educate them about food security at home through gardens and animal husbandry. Churches identified the best types of seeds to grow based on community context and weather, and then sought out poultry and seed suppliers to create purchase orders.

Church leaders, veterinarians and agronomists hosted weekly workshops to cover topics like food security, food safety, family gardens and animal breeding. Families with experience in breeding chickens shared their knowledge with new families. Poultry-raising families learned how to keep their birds in a safe, quiet place to lay their eggs, how to feed the hens and to follow the vaccination schedule. Gardening families learned how to make compost to improve seed production, soil management, irrigation and growth timing and spacing for each type of vegetable.

By February 2022, the new gardens had yielded their first harvest of chilies, radishes, coriander, tomatoes, lettuce and more! Caregivers described the learning process as very interesting with lots of uncertainties as to whether they would produce a good harvest. But the beautiful results they achieved boosted their confidence and convinced them to keep going.

By April 2022, the hens had achieved their full development and began laying eggs—some for families to eat and others to hatch and multiply their flock to strengthen household economic security through meat and egg production to help offset times of scarcity and unemployment.

Church volunteers visited beneficiary families at home to hear their testimonies and see the results of their poultry raising and gardening efforts. Thanks to your investment in this critical intervention, many people have witnessed the dedication of these families who are deeply invested in building food security for their households—and are inspiring more families to do likewise.


Vegetable garden kits: Families were overjoyed to receive vegetable seeds to plant in their backyard gardens.

Bountiful harvests: Families are proud to show how their vegetables are thriving and have already harvested their first yields of radishes, lettuce and more.

Backyard chickens: Families are thankful for the opportunity to raise laying hens. Beneficiary children are learning how to collect eggs from their hens so they can enjoy healthy, tasty meals.

Family affair: Children are also taking an active role in planting, tending, and harvesting from their gardens and helping to look after the chickens. They are learning to work together and whole families can feel proud of what they’ve accomplished!

Your Gift Provides...

Your generous gift gave families the training and resources to produce organic food and poultry to mitigate the food crisis:

• 3,121 kits for backyard chickens, each including:
○ 6 laying hens
○ 5 kilograms of feed for hens
○ 5 metres of chicken wire

• 1,274 kits for vegetable gardens, each including:
○ Sowing seeds such as onion, carrot, parsley, pumpkin, tomato, cucumber and Serrano pepper

• Personal protective equipment for 172 staff in charge of distribution
• Transportation to pick up supplies and deliver kits to family homes

ReportA message from a caregiver

We have suffered many shortfalls before—but God knows our needs and I am amazed by His great mercy because at the most appropriate moment, this great blessing came to us. Erick likes to take care of the chickens because now he can eat eggs for breakfast. We are very grateful for your help.

When the church told us that we would receive backyard poultry as a special support, we were excited because we like to take care of animals and they can give us nutritious food. This intervention has been very helpful.

We can see the mercy of God. He has been great to us; He is our provider. He blesses us through you. Thank you very much! I am very grateful for the help you sent. Thank you for making this possible.

Caregiver of Erick, a Compassion-assisted beneficiary at ME0738

ReportThank you for your generosity

Thank you for helping to end hunger by addressing the food crisis for 4,395 families in Mexico. You are empowering parents and children to work together in unity as they improve their lives by producing nutritious, organic food.

Families recognize that their economic situation is not resolved by receiving only occasional support but that, by taking advantage of local resources, their collective capacity and their own experience, they can play an active role in ensuring household food security, both now and in the future.

Caregivers are learning to make the best use of their land, knowledge and skills to face a daunting world food crisis by making changes in their daily lives. They are taking action to prevent malnutrition and stunting in their children to give them the best start possible.

Families are trading their products with one another—creating goodwill, developing healthy social relationships and advancing community engagement. Onlookers see how beneficial growing their own food can be, both for their own family and their community. The 4,395 families are inspiring more families to start their own food-producing livelihoods at home too!

Spiritually, children and their parents were strengthened because they felt loved and cared for by God and his church. Cognitively, beneficiaries acquired great knowledge and responsibility in their poultry breeding and gardening. This initiative has given them the opportunity to build their skills so they are fully equipped for adulthood and raising their own families one day.

Thank you for transforming the daily lives of these precious families in Mexico so they have enough food to eat, and even extra to trade or sell. Parents are aware that the COVID-19 crisis is still active and donors around the world are facing their own economic challenges, but this hasn’t stopped you from generously giving from your heart. Your kind gift arrived at just the right time—when unemployment was high and spirits were low. You have brought economic stability and food security into thousands of anxious homes, ensuring children have enough food to eat and are able to continue in their Compassion child development programs. Thank you!

ReportA message from a centre director

The opportunity to breed backyard poultry and plant green vegetable seeds has been a great blessing for each beneficiary family. This intervention has helped families improve their household economy through the poultry farming that allows them to consume the eggs and reproduce their chickens. In the same way, families can consume the vegetables that they themselves planted.

As for our community, people can see how much the beneficiaries are helped by the local church. Many people from the community have taken interest and sought God. Through your support, people of our community can see the mercy of our Lord Jesus.

Through these deliveries of poultry and seeds, and each of the actions we are doing as a church, we have the opportunity to minister to each family so they can see how big the love of God is. He knows their needs and blesses them through your support.

I am very grateful for the kindness and mercy that dwell in your hearts. I ask God to bless you always and pray that our Heavenly Father multiplies every help you send. Truly, thank you very much for your help to each of these families.

Maritza, Centre director at ME0738