EL SALVADOR: Children receive meals thanks to Salesian Missions, Feed My Starving Children
Rice-meals were distributed to schools in the municipalities of Soyapango, San Miguel and Santa Ana.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (March 29, 2022) More than 20,000 people, mostly school children, had access to better nutrition thanks to a partnership between Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, and Feed My Starving Children, a nonprofit Christian organization committed to “feeding God’s children hungry in body and spirit.” Two food shipments were sent in 2021 to Salesian-run FUSALMO, located in the municipality of Soyapango in the San Salvador department of El Salvador.
The rice-meals were distributed to schools in the municipalities of Soyapango, San Miguel and Santa Ana. Food was also provided directly to vulnerable families in those areas. The rice-meals helped 9,328 people in Soyapango, 1,499 people in San Miguel and 9,445 people in Santa Ana.
FUSALMO provides education and social development programs for children and older youth who are in situations of social vulnerability. Through recreational programs, enrichment opportunities in the arts and music, vocational training, and more, youth are encouraged to stay off the streets, learn to cooperate and co-exist, and gain the skills they need to become productive, contributing members of a more peaceful society.
The food shipment was particularly helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic when many families were pushed further into poverty because of a loss of employment and wages.
“It is important that youth have access to healthy nutrition so they are able to take part in school and other activities,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions. “Salesian feeding programs not only help with a balanced diet, but they also allow students to focus on getting an education without worrying about where they will find their next meal.”
The ongoing partnership between Salesian Missions and Feed My Starving Children has resulted in 40-foot containers of fortified rice-meals being shipped to Salesian sites around the globe. Feed My Starving Children provides the food and Salesian Missions takes care of the cost and logistics of shipping each container from Feed My Starving Children warehouses to the destination country. Salesian Missions also works to help identify where the greatest needs are at any given time. The partnership began in early 2006 when the first container was donated to and shipped by Salesian Missions for programs in Sri Lanka.
Close to 22 percent of El Salvador’s population lives in poverty, according to the World Bank. Youth in El Salvador are confronted not only with poverty but with instability, high levels of violence and inadequate access to educational opportunities. Despite ranking high for economic indicators, the need for practical education in El Salvador is more important than ever with 12 percent of youth ages 15-24 unemployed and 41 percent underemployed.
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