PERU: More than 9,600 people receive nutritional support with rice-meal shipment
Meals reach people who are sick and elderly, at-risk youth, and other marginalized populations.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Feb. 27, 2023) More than 9,600 vulnerable people in Peru received nutritional support 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.” A shipment of rice-meals was provided to the Don Bosco Foundation in 2022 and distributed throughout the year to 10 civic and religious programs serving people who are sick and elderly, at-risk youth, and other marginalized populations.
Organizations that received the donation include the Congregation of the Little Sisters of the Forsaken Elderly in Breña that serves a population of 500 poor elderly people. The Congregation of the Sisters of Charity is a home for 100 youth with terminal cancer and others serious diseases who are receiving treatment. The Brother Thomas Helm Center is a day shelter for youth who are in school. There are approximately 60 boys who participate. The Civic Action with the Joint Command of the Armed Forced provides basic needs for 4,550 people. Hogar San Camilo provides support to people with HIV. It serves approximately 280 people.
The rice-meal shipment also helped volunteers who distributed the meals. Sabina, age 26 and from Lima, delivered meals to the most poverty-stricken and dangerous area of Callao, the port of Lima. Within Callao is the Los Barracones neighborhood, which is known for gang violence. When Sabina arrived to distribute the donations of fortified rice packages, she noticed the lack of police presence in the community and anticipated a hostile atmosphere while distributing food to the households.
However, Sabina was surprised to see how welcoming and warm the beneficiaries and their relatives were when dropping off the meals. She said, “Going door to door, offering rice, being welcomed in the homes of the beneficiaries and exchanging some kind words” was an experience of regaining hope.
The volunteers were grateful for this experience and expressed their gratitude to the Salesians for giving them an opportunity to be active members in their local communities.
Peru faces high levels of income inequality and has more than a quarter of its population living in poverty, according to the World Bank. Poverty levels are significantly higher in rural areas but urban areas struggle most with inequality, most notably metropolitan Lima. Poverty in the country is made worse by a shortage of productive farmland and a lack of job skills among women entering the workforce, as well as a lack of adequate housing, nutrition and education.
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