Our goal is to maintain the elderly health and one way is to provide them a balanced meal. We continued with our regular meal distribution in the homes of our participants. A Case Manager visits the participants on a regular basis to verify their needs. She identified eight (8) participants that are in a very critical situation. For those we prepared some groceries so they could cook some meals on their own which was in addition to the weekend meals. The goods were: oatflour, pancakes flour, evaporated milk, rice, beans, sausages, sardines can, vegetables, chicken noodle soup, macaroni and cheese, mashpotato mix, applesauce, fruit cocktail dessert. These goods are easy to prepare as some elders do not have the skills to cook complicated meals. They can prepare these groceries during weekdays as they need, so they can be nourished in the days that we do not distribute the meals. The participants were happy and said: "We are grateful because we were short on groceries as our low income and food stamps are not enough for the month."
We also have one handicapped participant that has only one leg. She had a old portable toilet that was on a very bad condition. She cannot use the bathroom during the night. Proyecto La Nueva Esperanza was able to provide a new portable toilet. She said: "Thank you a lot, I really need it and couldn't affort to buy a new one." Her husband is also an elderly participant.
The meal on wheels for the elderly provide services for those with low income, are living alone or have chronic diseases. We have two official vehicles to deliver the meals to their homes during the weekends. There are two routes and volunteers deliver the meals every week. Each route take one and a half hours (1 1/2 hr) to deliver the meals. Volunteers use the vehicles which require regular maintenance in order to ensure a secure travel. During this period, two tires on one of the vehicles had to be replaced.
One of our volunteers works for a private company (see photo). She expressed the following regarding her experience: "I have been worked like a volunteer for "Proyecto La Nueva Esperanza" more than two (2) years but every time when I do the meal distribution, it is amazing feeling to see smiling faces of all people, even they suffer with pain, and to hear from them "Dios te bendiga" (God bless you). Thanks for the opportunity to work with you and to help the elder people."
Thanks to the donations received, we were able to get the tires for the vehicle (see photo) and buy more food so the elderly can receive the meals on time. We are always looking for healthy and balanced food for our participants. The meals help them to improve their health conditions.
The participants income are basically from the Social Security or other governmental aid for food so they don't have enough money to buy articles for their basic needs. For this reason they frequently need items like: soap, shampoo, deodorant, tooth brush, tooth paste, towels, blue paths, disposable diapers and hand sanitizer. For those who has diabetes we give them alcohol, gauze sponges and insulin syringes. As their income is very low they usually do not buy their medication and this impacts their health. In some cases we gave them clothes, shoes, pijamas and/or slippers for those who are going to be hospitalized. Our organization helps them because of their economic limitation. As soon as we identify their needs we prepare a small kit for distribution. We are grateful to our donors who support our elderly program and who help us to continue providing our services.
Participant# 1 - He lives with his brother and both are participants, they need help with personal hygiene. When he received his basic need kit he said: "I'm very happy with these items." He got shampoo, soap, deodorant, shaving foam, tooth paste and brush.
Participant# 2 - He is a blind person who lives with his brother and said "Appreciate these items". His kit contains shaving foam, tooth paste, alcohol pads and soap.
Participant# 3 - "Just what I need, I was getting short of these items and don't have enough money to buy them this week" was the expression of this participant who lives alone.
Besides the basic need items kit distribution we continue with the meal distribution during the weekends and the nurse realizes regular visits to follow up the participants health.
The last donation received was very useful. We were able to pay the gasoline for the two offical vehicles used for the meal distribution to the elderly. We also bought a variety of food: meat, rice, beans, vegetables, salt, oil, vinager, etc. This allowed us to provide the elderly over 60 years old of a balance meal during weekends. Most of our participants receive food coupons of aproximately $112 monthly and others a minimum amount from the Social Security. Due to this low income the variety of their meals is limited. We briefly interviewed some participants to get their inputs regarding the food program.
Participant#1 who has asthma and her son Participant# 2 who has diabetes and high blood pressure live together and are in the program since two years ago. They told us: "With our low income we have to pay for our medicines and food among other expenses. The meal program has lowered our expenses a little, otherwise we couldn't affort them all. We are very happy with the service."
Participant# 3 said: "I've been a participant since last year and I like the food a lot. My menu was very limited and now I've been able to have a variet menu, a well balance meal."
Participant# 4 told us: "I live alone and receive food coupons, used to cook a little, mostly can food. The service I receive from the program is very good."
We are pleased to know that thanks to our efforts and the donors help we are able to provide the elderly some of their needs.
The Elder's Food Program continue with the food distribution during weekends to our participants living in San Antonio and nearby areas. Thanks to the latest contribution received we bought meat, rice, vegetables, beans, cook oil, potatoes, food containers and utensils for the month of December. The regular menu consist of rice and beans, meat prepared in different ways and vegetables. For the Christmas holidays we prepare our typical menu of rice with green peas, rosted pork or turkey, potato salad and "pastel" which is a dish prepared with mashed platain stuffed with small pieces of meat, potato, sweet red pepper and olives. During December we will be distributing approximately 600 meals. In the attached photo you can see the groceries and two of our employees, Xiomara and Edwin, who purchase them and keep the wholesale inventory.
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