Border Partners’ activity continues in Palomas despite the pandemic. Our emphasis and priorities adapt to meet the critical needs that the pandemic causes.
COVID IN PALOMAS
Restrictions are still in place in Palomas, due to COVID-19. Major outbreaks of the disease occurred here in the last few months. The pandemic affected the community, and new regulations restricted daily activities as a result. Currently, businesses can be open at 50% capacity. However, our free Zumba classes for the community will only be held outside, at least through the month of June. This is because the social distancing requirement has increased up to 8 feet. There are additional sanitation requirements in place now, as well.
EMERGENCY FOOD DISTRIBUTIONS
Border Partners distributed 100 food baskets in May. This food benefited 295 people in the community. Now, our grant from the Paso del Norte Community Foundation that funded these distributions is entirely used. Going forward, we’ll need to rely on contributions from our donors to enable us to continue future food basket distributions.
GARDENS AND FOOD PRODUCTION
We’ve installed new hoses and water keys in gardens that are located at the Education Center. In addition. Juanita, our garden coordinator, is overseeing the rehabilitation and reconstruction of existing gardens. Garden production is flourishing as the photos indicate for themselves. Excellent food production in this desert environment can only happen with enriched soil and the constant monitoring of moisture to the crops. Quality and intense behind-the-scenes work creates this bounty.
NUTRITION FOR ELDERLY
Melissa Reyes, our General Manager, conducted a nutrition workshop for the Promotoras. They learned how to incorporate new foods to their menu options for the seniors’ meals on wheels. These food choices will be healthy and nutritious as well as easy to prepare.
DONATIONS SUPPORT OUR WORK
Diaz Farms again contributed a major donation to our operations that augment food and nutrition in Palomas. In March and April 2021, they donated about 2500 pounds of beans from their business. Our staff divided this bulk donation into individual four pound bags and distributed them to families in need. That contribution sustained us through three food basket distributions. Last week Diaz Farms donated:
- two 100 pound sacks of rice,
- cans of pure honey,
- canned salsa,
- spices and
- tamal leaf sacks.
In addition, they’ve donated all the food they have in their store. This generous outpouring is because they’re discontinuing that retail operation. We’re scheduling a weekly trip to the US-based operation to load this supply until we’ve received it all. We’re so grateful for this generous donation, especially now that our funding for food baskets has become quite limited.
Other local private donors, including the Chayrez Family, contributed 30 chickens and 3 dozen eggs for the promotoras‘ meals for home-bound seniors program, a plentiful supply of hand soap and other food items.