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COVID-19 Relief in Mexico: Food kits

Providing emergency food security to highly vulnerable families in Mexico during the pandemic

Crisis ResponseCrisis Response
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The Need

In Mexico, the impact of COVID-19 has been nothing short of devastating. The fragile health care system was unprepared for national crisis, while the lockdowns multiplied unemployment rates, crippling the economy. Children living in poverty have experienced the most severe impacts of the pandemic, facing the heightened risks of disease, starvation and abuse.

Throughout the crisis, Compassion Mexico has been equipping church partners to respond to children’s most urgent needs. This has included delivering emergency food and hygiene packages, as well as providing children with school supplies, preventive health information and medical treatment as needed. Our church partners have also been working hard to ensure that children with unemployed parents do not become subject to forced labour or begging on the streets.

While delivering emergency relief packages to beneficiary families in their communities, 179 Compassion centres identified a further 8,566 beneficiaries who desperately needed more nutritional support to prevent further malnutrition and starvation. Already doing all that they could, our frontline church partners were stretched thin—they needed help to reach these children and their families to help them put food in their bellies and prevent malnutrition.

Our Response

Thanks to your generous support, 179 church partners in Mexico responded to the hunger crisis by providing food packages to 8,566 highly vulnerable children and their families—for a total of 34,264 people.

This emergency intervention provided life-saving food supplies—enough for two meals per day for 10 days—to combat malnutrition. Households were selected based on need through a nationwide survey, with criteria including employment status, number of household members, access to health services and quality of living conditions.

Each church formed teams to carry out the intervention: a purchasing team to seek quotes from suppliers and buy groceries according to the context and needs of each community, an assembly team to make the family food kits, a safety team to ensure volunteers had the proper personal protective equipment and a delivery team to drop off the food packages to caregivers who were unable to leave their homes. Once the food items were received from the suppliers, volunteers disinfected the items, washed the fruits and vegetables and assembled the food kits.

Following safety protocols, caregivers were given a time slot when they could pick up their food kits from their local churches. A recipe book prepared by a health specialist was distributed to give families ideas of how to prepare nutrient-dense, balanced meals. During the monitoring stage in October, some families identified as extremely high risk were given a second food kit to help sustain them. Upon delivery, staff also educated caregivers and distributed pamphlets on COVID-19 preventive measures. Staff also used WhatsApp to educate some caregivers. Our frontline church partners supplied the cost of transportation, food kit deliveries and personal protective equipment.

An amendment was made to the scope and budget of this intervention to cover the cost of medicine for a frontline church pastor who had contracted COVID-19. Thankfully, he has recovered and is back to good health.

Activities

Food kits: Families were thankful to receive the food packages, which provided them with healthy ingredients to nourish their children at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cookbooks: The health specialist created a cookbook to give ideas for nutritious meals. The recipes were included with each family’s food kit.

COVID-19 prevention: Beneficiaries learned what precautions to take to prevent the spread of COVID-19 through pamphlets and educational talks.

Your Gift Provides...

• Food kits for 8,566 at-risk families, providing two meals a day for 10 days
o Food items varied depending on the area, but most included milk, eggs, beans, lentils, fruit and vegetables