By Jesús Aguado
Those who used to wait your table now don’t have much. There is a way to overcome the difficult situation: it is said that where one can eat, two also can. Help us to make it three, four five, or perhaps even thousands of Sanmiguelenses who will survive because of you. You can help with a monetary donation or a donation of goods that will make the heart of Mexico continue to beat. Corazones Unidos—Hearts United—will lead the way.
This is the challenge to the public by various organizations to help those who have the least, those who are unemployed during this crisis, and those who are most vulnerable.
Banco de Alimentos (BASMA), Patronato Pro Niños, Vamos México, Cruz Roja (The Red Cross), DIF San Miguel, Jóvenes Adelante, So Others May Eat (SOME), and Amigos al Cien, are some of the organizations focusing their efforts on providing food to those in need. Their efforts will be successful with the help of all Sanmiguelenses.
El Banco de Alimentos (Food Bank), BASMA, is an organization that was started almost two years ago. Its goal is to bring hot food to needy communities and neighborhoods.
According to Francisco Garay—director of Relaciones Exteriores, Desarrollo Económico y Vinculación con las Organizaciones de la Sociedad Civil (Outside Relations, Economic Development and Liaison with Civil Organizations)—Corazones Unidos began its efforts last week after other means could not keep up with the need.
BASMA could no longer continue distributing food because the main donors, restaurants and hotels, are now closed. When schools closed, Patronato Pro Niños could no longer provide medical services. SOME could not serve the usual weekly hot meal.
These and the groups mentioned above groups have come together to form one group that is collecting food at several centers.
“We were a bit delayed in our response,” said Laura Torres, president of BASMA, said, and added: “What we wanted was not speed, but endurance. This crisis will continue for several months. If the lockdown continues for four months, we will provide aid for four months. We had to make sure that we are not duplicating help already out there. [For example,] If Amigos al Cien is working in certain neighborhoods, we will go elsewhere to reach more people. It is a matter of logistics. These steps will be beneficial in the long run.”
Torres stated that all the institutions for social aid are coordinated, and wants the public to understand that everything is being done in a thoughtful and organized manner.
“We are doing well, we are getting there; a lot of essentials are being delivered by both Amigos al Cien and DIF,” she said. She explained: “What BASMA does is not just collect perishable and non-perishable food—it’s not just a matter of filling the belly. We need to provide people with the necessary vitamins and everything else they need, not just frijoles and rice. They need a balanced diet. For the elderly there is hot food delivery everyday (through DIF) because their condition is precarious.”
Torres addressed another sector, which although not as vulnerable, has been left without income. “We also need to help the former employees of restaurants and hotels during this crisis. We need to coordinate our actions and be strong for their benefit. If we can consolidate the donations, we can help them all during this time of crisis until they can get back to their jobs. This is what we are trying to do. We are [also] conducting socio-economic studies to determine their needs.”
Torres stated that those who request food supplies complete a socio-economic study through DIF or through Amigos Al Cien. The request must come from the head of the household. “We try not to duplicate our efforts, and determine those who are most in need. [We ask that] the head of the family come, and then prioritize the case. We take care of everyone, but some cases are more urgent than others. For deliveries we follow hygiene protocols to avoid contagion.”
Corazones Unidos is not asking people to come to a specific place to receive donations in order to reduce congestion. It is making home deliveries, which is safer and more hygienic.
Torres encourages the public to donate and help to guarantee the future food supply to those in need. She also stated that purchases of products are being made from local suppliers so that money will circulate locally and they will be able to keep their employees working.
How You Can Give to Corazones Unidos—Hearts United
The following are four collection points. They are set up so donors are not exposed for any length of time, and each center follows strict hygiene protocols.
- XESQ Radio San Miguel, Sollano 4
- Fabrica La Aurora
- Kuni Doni, Salida a Celaya 24
- DIF Municipal, San Antonio Abad on the corner with Insurgentes
These items are particularly needed:
- Food: rice, frijoles, lentils, pasta, oats, corn starch, flour, powdered milk, coffee, tuna, canned vegetables.
- Cleaning products: liquid hand soap, laundry detergent, multi-use cleaners, toilet paper, bleach.
- Personal hygiene: Bars of soap, toothpaste, shampoo.
In English: hipgive.org/project/corazones-unidos-san-miguel-de-allende/
In Spanish: hipgive.org/es/project/corazones-unidos-san-miguel-de-allende/
Banco de Alimentos de San Miguel de Allende A.C.
Bank code: 0722 4001 0448 3173 11
For more information please contact Gaby Rodríguez from BASMA at: firstname.lastname@example.org