Despite record-breaking heat in July, Border Partners stalwart staff continued to work hard to help their community.
Temperatures during this month topped 100 degrees almost every day during the month. To add to the misery, the “monsoon” rains did not come as they do most afternoons, normally, in July.
There was one SUPER rain – 18 inches in one weekend! That kind of rain mostly runs off the desert clay soil but our two rainwater tanks filled to the tops and helped with watering the gardens.
Our gardeners harvested an amazing 50 pounds of zucchini from their new outdoor garden in July. They find that certain plants like zucchini, tomatoes, peppers and green beans grow better outdoors than in the greenhouses. This last month they also planted all the beds in the greenhouses with chard, carrots, cilantro, beets, cabbages and celery. All the food they are growing is used in the lunches for seniors and given to people in the community.
Meeting nutrition needs
Speaking of those lunches for seniors, staff prepared and delivered 567 lunches to 27 needy seniors during July. In addition, they held one class for the seniors at which they taught them some stretching exercises and informed them of the signs of heart attack. Class also included a free served lunch. “Eating out” with others was a treat for these elders who are often alone at home.
We were also hard at work getting ready for the start of the new Healthy Eating grant from Paso del Norte Health Foundation. In September, we’ll begin presenting classes for all the students in grades 1-4. This month, our staff began attending instructional sessions with a consultant on nutrition education, and they started planning each of the eight lessons that each elementary school child will experience.
In addition, Border Partners distributed food baskets to 100 families in nearby communities.
Ongoing staff education
All the staff attended several workshops in July. One was a training on first aid given by the Palomas volunteer rescue team for them and for the volunteer firefighters. They also attended a session by a visiting psychologist on preventing bullying. While she was in town, she also presented a session for students at each of the elementary schools and the middle schools during her visit.
If that’s not enough: there were 288 July visits to our Education Center to use the computers we provide.