Border Partners’ health promoters (promotoras) are taking a central role in the community response to COVID-19. Their recognized expertise and the relationships they’ve formed through the years position them to lead and help. Our last post explained how the promotoras have assumed new, extraordinary roles. They work in association with other key players, including the Palomas Health Center, to protect the health of Palomas residents.
In addition, promotoras continue their regular duties. They maintain regular hours at their permanent office in town. People can call or stop in to monitor blood pressure and blood sugar levels. This addresses underlying issues of heart disease and diabetes that can turn COVID-19 deadly.
Another critical health issue promotoras encounter is that of hunger and food insecurity. The economic downturn affects elderly, children and poor households in Palomas, a community where reliable, permanent employment is difficult to find. The promotoras have responded.
Food Distribution Effort
Twice a month, promotoras deliver a food supplement to the most vulnerable households in Palomas. First, they collaborated to identify households apparently in need. Then, they followed up with a discreet inquiry to each household to determine their level of need. Twenty designated as the most food-insecure now receive a bi-monthly food supplement box.
Promotora Gricelda Loya contacted Palomas grocery store El Sol for help. They agreed to provide food at wholesale prices for this project. We’re pleased to patronize this generous local business. Moreover, buying locally relieves Border Partners of the expense of traveling to Juarez. And, because travel during COVID-19 is dangerous, it also keeps our staff safer. El Sol is perfectly positioned for this project, and we’re so grateful to partner with them.
Meals to Elders Continue
In addition, isolated, elderly Palomas residents lack support services to help them survive. So, each weekday promotoras deliver them a homemade meal. In the Food On Meals project that is sponsored by the Paso Del Norte Health Foundation’s HEAL grant, we’ve now increased the number of older adults we serve. Promotoras cook and deliver 25 meals during the COVID-19 contingency.
The people who receive food assistance are profoundly grateful.
They tell the promotoras:
- “Thank you very much for helping the community.”
- “It is so good that there is an agency that supports the community.”
- “I am so grateful that you have considered my family for support.”
- “Thank you so much for caring for vulnerable families!”
The promotoras are able to do this work because the generosity of Border Partners donors supplements funding from Paso Del Norte. Donor donations purchase food and pay transportation expenses.
The food distribution will continue until July 3 or for as long as we have the funding to support it. Border Partners is operating under an emergency three month contingency plan due to COVID-19. Thanks for helping the promotoras prevent hunger and promote health through your support and donations!