There is nothing like starting off the new year with a brand new school kitchen in a community new to the Feed the Hungry San Miguel school meals program. On January 18, a sparkling kitchen and a shaded dining area were inaugurated in Don Francisco, a community of 1,272 residents with a significant indigenous population.
What made this kitchen different was that it was created inside a shipping container instead of being built of brick and mortar. This concept reduces construction costs and time. Conditions in the community, located 18 kilometers west of San Miguel de Allende, made it necessary to place by crane. The donation and re-design of the interior of the container was a gift from longtime donor and kitchen architect/builder Arq. Rafael Franco.
The inauguration was attended by teachers, students, staff, volunteers, Feed the Hungry board members, city representatives, and donors. On that day, 278 students from Escuela Primaria Rural “General Francisco Villa” received their first hot school lunch provided by Feed the Hungry San Miguel. “The kids thought a train was being built, it was such a novelty for us. They were excited to receive a hot meal full of the nutrition they need” said Blanca Lucia Granados, 4th grade teacher.
More than 400 meals were served that day – many children enjoyed a second serving! We want to ensure that no child should ever go hungry while in school. Next month, 70 kindergarten students will be also be served lunch there. “Besides seeing the happy children’s faces as they received their meals, what was most exciting was the presentation of the new kitchen concept utilizing a 40-foot shipping container,” said Rhonnie Cohen, Advisory Council member.
School Principal Blanca E. Cervantes said welcoming words and expressed her gratitude during the ceremony. Francis Bonilla, Vice President of Feed the Hungry, A.C., concluded by stating to the mothers and teachers that “it is not only important to teach nutrition in school, it is even more important to take that knowledge and see it practiced at home.” Mothers will be invited to educational workshops for good eating practices that help the entire family.
In addition to the students in the community who will benefit from the new kitchen, Feed the Hungry has also identified several families in extreme need who have started receiving food bags through our Extended Alimentation and Nutrition Program.
Later this year, we plan to open a new kitchen in Peña Blanca, extending our reach even further. If you are interested in becoming a Kitchen Angel to sponsor a new or existing school kitchen, please contact Peter Bramley at email@example.com.
Enjoy this short video reel of the inauguration!