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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkNews from Around Banderas Bay | September 2009 

Puerto Vallarta Summer Food Drive Success
email this pageprint this pageemail usPam Thompson - PVNN
September 10, 2009

It's a hot and sweaty job - but someone's gotta do it! On one of the hottest afternoons of the year, more than 60 volunteers packaged over 1000 bags of food at the last Summer Food Drive packaging party at PVRPV on September 4th. (photos by Josef Kandoll)
What began in the Spring as an idea as to just how we could assist our friends and neighbors here in Puerto Vallarta through some very, very tough economic times through the summer months, blossomed into a massive undertaking.

First, I went to my dear friend Philippa Vernon-Powell, the field director for New Life Mexico. I knew that she had the contacts with DIF (Social Services) and that they could provide us with the people most in need.

This, in turn, lead to contact with Jesus Barrio Trejo, the Director of Child Protective Services (Director de Proteccion a la Infancia) who provided us with eight different registered groups under Child Protective Services who we all decided were some of the most in dire need. As well, going via these programs, each and every child-person receiving the prepared food packages were registered with each program. Each group has weekly meetings with Child Protective Services in their local colonia.

Next, I went to Tim at PVRPV Puerto Vallarta Vacation Rentals I am sure the next time that I say to Tim - "Hey! I have an idea! Can you help?" he will run the other direction! Tim and his PVRPV Team jumped on board and agreed to be the primary location for drop-off's of donations. This not only kept their office filled with piles and piles of beans, rice, lentils, soup cubes and pasta, Tim and his team began the most detailed and extensive Excel sheet imaginable. Each and every grain was documented as it arrived.

Chris Benson from the Coffee Cup in the Marina, Actinver (various locations) and G3MX Realty Group became drop off points as well. Emails announcing the Food Drive went out in mass, Rick & Sarah Hepting ( joined in and via their message board, donations nearly doubled! Sid Goodman assisted with monetary donations via his Paypal account. The response was beyond incredible! Hundreds and hundreds of bags of the food for the food bags began streaming in.

The next step was to figure out how in the world we would be able to bag up the food for the monthly distributions. PVRPV once again stepped up to the plate and began having monthly "packaging parties." Volunteers showed up on the appointed dates-times willing to sweat, huff and puff, and package! The cohesiveness of each packaging party was enough to remind us all what a truly wonderful group of foreigners live in our area.

Fab photographer Josef Kandoll (, and videographers Ray Dion ( and Laura Gelezunas ( documented these events for the world to see.

It was time for one last Packaging Party - and what a party it was! (PromoVision)
As September rolled around and we approached the end of the program (we committed to the distributions through September,) it was time for one last Packaging Party - and a party it was! Serenaded by the music of Los Bambinos and fed by Victor of the new Victor's Bar & Grill (Pino Suarez #232, Tel: 228-9424 - a new place offering delicious pizzas, chicken wings and more!) volunteers worked diligently on one of the hottest afternoons so far this year, packaging more than 1100 bags of food! Soaked and sweaty clothes were the mode but were accompanied by huge smiles. Clothes were definitely dampened, but spirits were not!

Take a look at some of these incredible statistics:

Each Food Package contained beans, rice, lentils, soup cubes and pasta. Enough to feed a family of four for one week.

Each bag weighed approximately 4.5 kg.

Approximate total of kilos distributed: 17,050 kg!

Distributed to 3,789 families

Each packaging party was attended by approximately 65 people. That is a total (throughout the summer) of 260 volunteers which equals 520 hands!

Each donation was documented and receipted!

There are far too many people to list and thank as it is a mind-boggling amount! But an extra-special thanks needs to be given to:

Every single donor

Every single volunteer at all of the Packaging Parties!

Tim and his PVRPV Team

Philippa Vernon Powell and her assistant Hugo Oregon (who schlepped mountains of donations all over the place)

Josef Kandoll for photography

Rick and Sarah Hepting - Vallarta Scene

Sid Goodman


Bar Frida

Food (for helping hands!) donations - Victor's Bar and Grill, Nina Goodhope (who makes absolutely without a doubt, the very best cookies in town.

Gary Beck and the Yahoo Southside Message Board

Sam's and Costco

Los Bambinos

This program not only proved to one and all what can be accomplished with organization, transparency and a whole lot of love, it reminds us all that we must take care of one another, through good times and bad. We are blessed to have food to eat when we are hungry!

Now, hang on to your hats and wait until you hear about the next project!

Pamela Thompson
HealthCare Resources Puerto Vallarta

You can learn more about the Puerto Vallarta Summer Food Drive right here on Puerto Vallarta's Liveliest Website,, or on the fabulous PVRPV Blog.
Pamela Thompson is a registered nurse who has lived in Puerto Vallarta for over 17 years, 10 of them in health care. Pamela now leads HealthCare Resources Puerto Vallarta, a local healthcare resource network. Her years of experience and expertise are available to you by emailing your questions to pamela(at) or by visiting

Click HERE to learn more about the health and well-being services offered by HealthCare Resources Puerto Vallarta.

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