In 2002, we asked several teachers at an elementary school about their greatest need. We expected them to tell us things like books, computers, desks or paper. Instead, each teacher said that their most important need was food.
“The children arrive too hungry to concentrate”. “Even the children that are overweight lack nutrition Our biggest need is to feed these children.”
The solution was obvious. We began by paying a couple to bring 40-meals to a school. That school had a total of 1,000 children, but we only had enough money to feed forty. When Houston Police Officers heard what was happening, officers opened up their hearts and wallets. Soon we were feeding 100 and then 200. Eventually, we built a cafeteria and fed all of the children.
By 2006 we were feeding 4,000 children at several schools! We built a cafeteria and then, through the generosity of Giving Hope Worldwide, we built two more cafeterias.
The State of Coahuila invited us to participate in a program where we could purchase meals at a cost of 20 cents per meal. The state also provided training to volunteer cooks. Parents and neighbors volunteered and prepare the meals at no cost to Paper Houses Across the Border. Everyone is involved.
This program is an example of working with the community. Volunteers cook, clean and serve the meals. The Mexican government pays part of the cost for the ingredients and we purchase the discounted ingredients.