The Los Barriles Delegado has identified a list of more than 600 households who have been impacted by the collapse of tourism across our region that includes Los Barriles, El Cardonal, Boca de Alamo, San Bartolo, Piedras Gordas, Campamento (in partnership with the Spa Food Bank in the early days), El Coro, Buena Vista. Luis (Delegado) is liaising with other Delegados and community members to make this happen. We have some information that the government might be able to provide assistance on this scale at some point. However, in the absence of this now, The Los Barriles Food Bank is extremely important. We will of course keep you updated with any developments here.
We are currently creating parcels that include flour, beans, rice, oil, sugar, milk and are using paper bags to minimize environmental impact. We will be topping up the basics with fresh fish and fruit and vegetables depending on availability. Thank you to the Veggie Ladies for their contribution here and to the fisherman who are authorized to go fishing for the community. Chris from Smokey’s has opened up his smoke house to us, and his staff will be preparing the fish and storing it ready for distribution. Thanks Chris!
Thank you so much to people that have already donated food. They will be added to each parcel until they are gone. We are starting another scheme called ‘Drive Up & Collect’. A number of volunteers will be driving around subdivisions collecting any cans, dried foods, long-life milk etc that you have and would like to share with us. Simply leave them outside your gate on a specified day and time and we will pick them up. We HAVE to make the food stretch for so many and just a couple of cans to you when added together could keep this initiative going for another week.
Joe from Joe’s Deli/Joe’s Pizza has cleared out his whole office and has created a dedicated space for storing and packing items. Every day of the week, led by the Delegado and coordinated by Joe, Jeane and the volunteers, teams will be delivering food parcels direct to households. This will ensure no crowds and social distancing requirements are met We started this week (Monday April 13th).
We are fortunate to have both Luis and Joe spearheading the negotiations with suppliers. We benefit from Joe’s experience with wholesalers while Luis has excellent connections in the agricultural regions and with the fishing community.
We have calculated that it costs approx. 200 pesos per household to feed them for a week with our parcels. We also have other costs such as gas to deliver parcels. This might fluctuate according to what we are able to secure, but we want to keep it to this level so that we can feed 600+.
It’s important that we source as much from local growers and producers. We are beginning to see that suppliers are now getting anxious because of the staggering fall in demand for their products. This might help us secure foodstuffs at a better price as we progress.
We have a merry band of volunteers but we desperately need more to help pack up the parcels and also to drive around helping to distribute food. We will help to protect you as much as we can through facemasks and gloves and keep social contact to an absolute minimum – perhaps one person with you as the deliverer of the foods. Please email Harkleroad, Jeane at email@example.com
We are securing receipts and keeping a very tight eye on the money. Ian Gibson is heading up the accounting supported by Jeane Harkleroad. We will be publishing a reconciliation for all to see in the coming days.
We don’t know if we will get government help. We hope so, but it’s not yet confirmed. Therefore, as this is a fluid situation with things changing daily, we are currently working on a short term plan to feed 600+ households until the start of July. However, we will be assessing the situation at the end of April/May when we have more information to work with. As you can see, it’s expensive to feed this many people. We have raised an amazing amount so far, but we continue to seek more donations.
Partnerships: Through Adam Greenberg and Leaders2Give we are working with a team of young ‘future leaders’ from our local Rotary Interact Club who will be assisting with planning, financial reporting, packaging and distribution. Additionally, the partnership allows US citizens to donate and then be entitled to a receipt for a 501c3 federal tax deduction. Thank you also to the Spa Food Bank who have been so generous in helping us reach people in the first weeks as we try to sort out the system.
We really need your help to raise the additional monies. People are being incredibly creative and supportive; from selling cars, their paintings, donating money from yoga classes, from making masks and just emailing friends and clients who love LB and might not realize what’s happening here. We are all feeling the pinch, but even just $20 can feed two families for two weeks. Please please see how you can help us!!
How to Donate:
US tax deductible contributions – Please follow the instructions on the section that will either say ‘Temporary, Emergency COVID-19 Initiative’ or ‘The Los Barriles Food Bank’ via www.leaders2give.org.
Check: drop a check to a Wells Fargo branch. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for account number.
Wire: Please email email@example.com for instructions.
Venmo and Paypal: to Rotary Past President Jeane Harkleroad at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please email Jean’e to let her know that you are doing this.
Cash: Cash is also be accepted. Please make your donation at Joe’s Deli.
Any other question regarding donations: Please email email@example.com
This is a huge project and we are learning by the hour. No-one has had to do this before in our little town – this is way beyond the after effects of a hurricane or earthquake. This is a sustained period of no income for at least six months for good working people in our region.
Please bear with us while we do the best we can to make this a success for our community; there will be teething problems but we have over 30 volunteers who are passionate about making this happen.
Best wishes and thank you in advance for your help.
Joe, Luis, Jeane, Emma, Ian