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Puerto Vallarta

After 4 Years of Service, Vallarta Food Bank is Now Vallarta Cares

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – In celebration of its fourth anniversary on March 23, the Vallarta Food Bank (VFB) changed its name to Vallarta Cares. This new name captures how they’ve expanded their original mission of providing food to Vallarta’s hungry. They now offer free medical and dental care, showers, laundry, education, workshops, and access to clean water. And when there is need to support families impacted by a natural disaster, like a hurricane or flood, they are there with volunteers and a range of Relief Services.

They’re still fighting hunger

While the name has changed, their commitment to fighting hunger in our community has not. They’re still delivering 2,800 hot, take-away meals weekly, supporting 89 families with their community pantry, and sharing food donations with other local charities. Their generous donors and tireless food preparation and service volunteers are fulfilling the commitment that No One Goes Hungry!

New name & new Board of Directors

This past Monday, the Mexican Civil Association (non-profit corporation) held a required Assembly to elect Officers and a Board of Directors to guide their growth and services for the next 3 years. The Board also approved changing the name. Please join them in welcoming our newly elected Officers and Board:

Executive Officers

  • President Frankie Bañuelos
  • Treasurer David Solomon
  • Secretary Lucy Estrada

Board Members

  • Mikel Alvarez
  • Kelly Atalick
  • Danielle Bouchey
  • George Gray
  • David Hetrick
  • Bill Makley
  • John McKinney
  • Emily Murray
  • Jimmy Plouff
  • Rabbi Shneur Hecht
  • Gary Turner
  • Sonia Walker

An amazing story of the road to today

In 2020, when COVID hit and Vallarta closed down, thousands of people were immediately out of work — no safety net. Neighbors knocked on the door of Frankie and Jimmy’s shuttered restaurant asking for food.

A small act of kindness in making bags of food for neighbors grew into a community-supported volunteer operation making thousands of food bags at the Chabad of Puerto Vallarta that were delivered across the region.

Each bag of basics could feed a family of four for a week. After several months at the Chabad, the fast-growing organization opened today’s site for food distribution and a soup kitchen. Soon other needed services for at-risk people and families quickly evolved.

Frankie and Jimmy co-founded the Vallarta Food Bank with Francie Nguyen, who has left the organization to focus her great civic energy and skills on the Vallarta School for Girls that she helped to start last year. Everyone involved in the Vallarta Cares! organization want to express their heartfelt thanks to Francie for her great work and dedication over the past four years.

Join us. Donate. Volunteer.

Needs are increasing right now. As the season ends and “snowbirds” head north, low-skilled workers in beach sales, hospitality and cleaning face unemployment and challenges with food and health care. And our storm season is not far away, and each one seems more destructive.

Now, more than ever, your support as a volunteer and/or donor is crucial. Click HERE to be part of this extraordinary journey of care and community. Together, we can make a difference in countless lives.

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