A Community We Support: Palo Colorado


Feed the Hungry San Miguel kitchen has been in operation in Palo Colorado since 2003. During school year 2023-2024, 118 meals are served every school day to María Montessori kindergarten students.  Purified water is also delivered to the schools for meal preparation and consumption by students and teachers. 

The key to the success of our mission there has been the collaboration and help of the school directors and educators who are committed and concerned for the nutrition and wellbeing of the young children. They also encourage the mothers to participate in the Nutrition Workshops and monthly kitchen classes, the ultimate goal being that they become aware of what the children are eating in school, and learn to prepare the Feed the Hungry recipes at home in addition to volunteering in the preparation of the meals for the children at school.

Location Statistics 

The school is 11km from the Feed the Hungry Center. The most recent INEGI census (2020) reported a Palo Colorado population of 1,276 men, women, and children, residing in 293 households;  36% are children younger than 12 years of age. Only 37% of the inhabitants more than 12 years of age have some income. Just 67% of the homes have indoor sanitary facilities. The average level of schooling is 6 years; 9% of the adults are illiterate.  

Nutrition Report School Year 2023-2024 

For the latest Nutrition Report, staff nutritionists assessed 99 kindergarten students through height, weight, and body fat measurements.

Almost 60% of the population measured is of normal weight, however, most children show signs of malnutrition due to deficiency or excess of calories. 

Underweight Children 

Of all of the communities served by Feed the Hungry San Miguel, the kinder students here have some of the highest number of cases of mild to severe malnutrition. Malnutrition is mainly the result of insufficient food intake in quantity as well as quality, lack of adequate resources (health care and sanitation), and frequent occurrences of infectious diseases.

Health Assessment Results
Condition Children
Obese 6
Overweight 5
Risk of overweight 2
Normal 58
Light underweight 11
Moderate underweight 10
Severe underweigh 7

Some of the cases of mild malnutrition are children who are in recovery from moderate or severe malnutrition suffered during early childhood. When asked about their diet outside preschool, many of them mention foods such as beans and soups with broth, or foods of low nutritional value such as sausages, soft drinks, coffee, sweet bread, and candy.

Children with poor hygiene and particular cases of head lice or pediculosis capitis were observed during the evaluation. Some characteristic clinical signs were also noted, such as short stature, thinness, depigmented skin, corneal arcus, redness in the corners of the eyes, sparse hair, dry skin and hair, and leukonychia. Severe dental caries prevent children from consuming and digesting food properly due to pain or discomfort when chewing. 

Obese and Overweight Children 

Cases of overconsumption of food are mainly reflected in weight and body mass index for this age group. Children at risk are at the upper limit of normal weight for age, so they are already at risk of becoming overweight if they do not pay attention to their daily consumption. In terms of diet, they have the habit of consuming energy-dense foods such as sweet bread, sugars, and industrialized products that are not suitable for their age.  

When performing the physical examination, this population was noted with abdominal distension, leukonychia and hyperkeratosis, and severe dental caries.  

Action Plan 

While we continue to provide healthy school meals, we also encourage families to take advantage of our Early Childhood Nutrition program for pre-school children and infants, and our Food Outreach program to help combat severe malnutrition among residents of all ages in the community.  

We monitor the dining room to ensure that the children are consuming the food provided in the school meals.  

Ongoing nutrition workshops and consultations are offered for parents to prevent children of normal weight becoming over- or under-weight.

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