MEdlife is tackling FOOD INSECURITY IN OUR PARTNER COMMUNITIES
As COVID-19 spreads around the world, MEDLIFE is working hard to make sure the most vulnerable populations aren’t forgotten.
In mid-March 2020, the governments of Peru & Ecuador announced nationwide lockdowns. All non-essential businesses were closed, international and domestic travel halted, and residents were instructed to only leave their homes to visit grocery stores, pharmacies, or medical centers. While these measures were necessary to prevent overwhelming local healthcare systems, and to prevent the spread of the virus, they present unimaginable challenges for families.
In just a few days many went from living day to day on informal wages, to not knowing how they would afford to feed their children. They were told that the best way to prevent the spread of illness was to wash their hands, yet water trucks stopped arriving to deliver clean water to their community. Hospital appointments that were already expensive and challenging to access became terrifying and practically impossible to travel to.
While we know we can’t solve everything, there’s a lot we can still do to help families make it through the pandemic. But we need your help. Travel has halted so we no longer have funding from volunteers coming on Service Learning Trips. In the meantime, we will rely on the generosity of monthly donors and partner organizations to continue our work.
OUR RESPONSE TO COVID-19
MEDLIFE has developed a seemingly simple, yet effective approach to COVID-19 emergency response. It follows these basic steps:
- Our community organizers reach out to the leaders of nearby communities to identify families in need.
- We make a (usually long) list of families that are struggling with food insecurity, or another basic necessity.
- Our team continuously fundraises to purchase food for the families identified week to week.
- MEDLIFE community organizers begin to coordinate the difficult and complicated process of food donations. We work on accessing government-issued permits for deliveries and purchases.
- We purchase, package, disinfect, and deliver a week’s supply of food to the identified families.
A message from our founder, Nick Ellis MD:
“MEDLIFE is all about increasing freedom for people living in extreme poverty. One of the most basic freedoms a person can enjoy is freedom from hunger. Today we are battling this issue in our communities. As we all try to decrease the transmission rate of the novel coronavirus, the lowest income communities are suffering disproportionately. Historically MEDLIFE has focused on one time donations to complete infrastructure projects but now we are seeing that many communities need ongoing monthly nutritional support. We need your help today to raise monthly donations for families facing food insecurity.”
Our Impact (So Far!)
Thanks to amazing donor support we have successfully delivered packages of food to over 1,400 families across Peru & Ecuador including the areas of Lima, Cusco, the Sacred Valley, Tena, Riobamba, and Guayaquil. We are also collaborating on a community initiative of preparing and distributing lunch hundreds of individuals in Lima.
We will continue our work through COVID-19 and its aftermath. This approach is helping to alleviate some of the challenges families are facing, but as mentioned above in order to reach the intense quantities of families suffering from food insecurity, we need your help. Join our monthly giving program today.