Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - The Vallarta Food Bank continues to expand as volunteers work to try to make a positive change in the community that goes beyond feeding Puerto Vallarta families struggling to survive the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jimmy Plouff, one of the masterminds behind this grassroots movement, tells us more:
Hey gang, Jim here! Tons of exciting news to share... Vallarta Food Bank is officially 6 months old! Things are moving in a lot of fantastic ways for us and we'd like to share it all with you. We've had many resources waiting in the wings for us to get our facility running smoothly and many more things we're hoping to add with your help!
We have always been about more than just food now we have a chance to be so much more! We are still looking for some of the resources but I wanted to share with you guys a rough outline that we've been working on for the future at VFB. Maybe it's ambitious... but we'd really like to try to make a positive change in the community.
With Covid relief efforts winding down, and changing needs as many go back to work, we are shifting gears to help those with other needs. Not that they weren't there before but we've been pretty occupied feeding folks!
In 6 months we have produced and distributed over 45,000 despensas, many boxes of desperately needed medication, responded to 3 pretty major floods, and produced and served over 3,500 servings of hot food from our community kitchen last month with that number growing constantly!
We are beyond grateful to everyone who has supported us either through volunteering, donating, sharing posts, supplying masks, other safety items, and materials and labor on the facility. As well as continuing the hot food and limited despensa distribution, our future outline is this:
• Nutritional education
• Household financial planning (budget, savings, future investment)
• Personal development and time management
• Sexual wellness and preventative care information
• Remedial education (if required)
• Youth mentorship program
• Career guidance and research
• English language course (youth)
Public Assistance/Support Programs:
• Victim Advocate Program (future in house)
• Pharmaceutical assistance (currently available)
• Outside medical consultation (future in house)
• Disaster relief/preparedness
• Job placement support (Future)
Educational Opportunities (once core has been completed):
• English language courses (adult)
• Small business administration basics
• Vocational training (Trade skills)
• Computer use basics and occupational training
• Community agricultural skills (community garden effort)
• Leadership development course (community/occupational)
We are hoping to provide Puerto Vallarta with a heart as strong as it has ever had. We want to change the world one life at a time. Together we can make Vallarta strong, together we are #VallartaStrong!
Check us out at vallartafoodbank.com and like/follow us on Facebook to stay up to date on what we are doing!