By Mary Ann Vinck
2020 has been La Mision Children’s Fund’s (LMCF) most challenging year ever. The coronavirus has ravaged the local economy which relies heavily on the tourism industry. Jobs have been lost and there is no social safety net for the families of La Mision. No unemployment checks and no stimulus checks. It is difficult to describe the devastation the virus has brought the LMCF food bank patrons.
In 2016 The La Mision Food bank was serving 55 families a month. Now we average 500 families a month! Besides food we provide school supplies, wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, coats, books and clothing to our communities as they are donated to us. The fund continues a mobile delivery to multiple distressed areas, including many ravaged by the October fires that destroyed or damaged so many of our client’s homes.
Every month the food bank provides rice, beans, oil, pasta, flour, tomato sauce and donated canned goods. When funds are available, we provide frozen chicken and other select items such as baby formula, diapers, bath soap, dental care items to food bank customers. The food bank location has become a dry food distribution stop for Mexican Family Services (DIF) which has augmented our services. But even with the supplemental food from DIF what we provide is barely enough for a family of four to last 10 days.
Considering the economic devastation in the area, our current focus is supplying our families with the desperately needed food and our continued support through the remarkable BECA scholarship program, Through BECA in 2019 we paid college tuition for 45 university students from our area and school fees for 65 elementary to high school students. We provide toilet paper, trash bags, cleaning and office supplies to the high school, elementary and junior high school.
In 2019, LMCF repaired the kitchen and bathroom roofs at the high school and installed new light fixtures and painted two classrooms. We also provided a part-time English teacher at the high school and extensive after school tutoring programs. Improvements were also made at the Santa Anita Primary School. In partnership with the La Mision Rotary Club, LMCF took a dilapidated seldom used park in Santa Anita and turned it into a beautiful children’s park with concrete benches and tables, playground equipment and a secure enclosure.
To learn more or to make a donation, visit the La Mision Children's Fund website.
Editor's Note: Many non-profit organizations that work in Baja have been deeply impacted by Covid-19. In an effort to drum up support, Baja Bound will be featuring a different non-profit every few weeks. In the meantime, please visit some of our friends in the links below and make a donation if you have the means to do so!