The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on food security issues for the citizens of Colombia was devastating and far reaching. Importantly, a nation already struggling to feed its population became more vulnerable with the announcement of the mandatory lockdown on March 25th 2020. With the lockdown continuing into July and no social safety net to rely on families faced a “hunger emergency” like never before. With these harsh realities in mind we decided to expand our mission, scale up our response and address the immediate food crisis.

Responding to an Immediate Food Crisis

Food Bank Project - Santo Tomas De Aquino School, Cali.

Alto Menga is a neighborhood located in the western region of Cali Colombia and is challenged with a high poverty rate and lacks basic city services such as sewer, water and power. Many of the children we support come from this region and attend the Santo Tomas De Aquino School in Cali Colombia. Understanding the criticality of nutrition in supporting educational outcomes we set up a food bank providing groceries for 61 families from this region. This allowed them to get through the crisis until they could return to work.

Strengthening Food Security

Vertical Vegetable Gardens – La Leonera School, Cali

With global food shortages on the rise it is imperative to find alternate methods of increasing food production to support food security. Vertical farming can be beneficial in providing populations the means to feed themselves whilst encouraging youth to pursue sustainable development. At the Leonera School in Cali we were thrilled to have completed our first vertical garden project, purchasing seeds and containers for 143 families allowing them to build their own vegetable gardens. Our on the ground volunteers along with the parents and children joyfully spent days sorting seed packages, erecting vertical gardens and planting seeds. Today a deep sense of satisfaction is present amongst the community as they begin to notice the fruits of their labor

Outdoor Gardening - John F Kennedy School - Bolivia

A similar project at the John F Kennedy School in Bolivia,Caldas provided the tools and seeds for families to plant their own vegetable gardens in their back yards. We are close to seeing the first harvest and will continue to monitor their progress and provide more supplies as required.

Providing Educational Supplies

During the pandemic we continued to support our mandate of providing essential school supplies to advance education for children and youth in Colombia. Uniforms, Tablets and Back Packs filled with school supplies were provided to Santo Tomas de Aquino and La Leonera in Cali, John F Kennedy School in Bolivia and Jaime Duque School in Villa Maria, Caldas Colombia