Elizania, age 6, lives with her parents and two sisters in Canton San Martin, Cooperative Housing in the municipality of Guaymango, Ahuachapán. Her family participates in the Libras de Amor, or Pounds of Love, program. They receive attention from team members belonging to the program to assure she maintains an adequate size and weight for her age. Like many other children in her municipality, Elizania takes advantage of the opportunities and benefits that come from being a part of Pounds of Love. Through our In-Kind Distribution Program we are able to ship nutritious meals that are used to directly improve the nutrition of the kids under the wing of Pounds of Love. Food includes fruit and veggies so that families may develop their own orchard and establish long-term sustainability.

For many years now, Pounds of Love counts with Feed my Starving Children (FMSC) to ship nutrient enriched meal packs via our In-Kind Distribution Program called MannaPacks. These contain rice, extruded soy nuggets, vitamins, minerals and a vegetarian flavoring and dehydrated vegetables for flavor and nutrition. They come in packaging that’s easy to handle of 13.06, 9.2, or 11 ounces. Families are given these meal packs based on needs and level of malnutrition in their children. Thanks to this program, several mothers have the opportunity to work with Pounds of Love nutritionists and over time improve the health of their children. Mothers learn how to cook and eventually create their own recipes using FMSC’s recourses as well as those in their home like chipilin, mulberry, vegetables and eggs. The mothers of these families become highly motivated once they realize it is through them and their new practices that the quality of living for their children can improve.

In order to get to school, Elizania has to walk a difficult road for more than 45 minutes. Since she does not own a pair of shoes, what was already a challenging trek becomes even more arduous. By the time Elizania arrives at school, she is exhausted and too beat-down to fully immerse in her schooling. Sometimes Elizania, like many other kids with economic limitations, decreases in attendance. This can leave a child to fall behind in their classes with some eventually abandoning their education entirely.

For the first time, has Elizania received the opportunity to own a pair of new shoes in her size! Elizania’s mother, Maria Ana, says both were very excited the day they went to their nearby health unit to live the experience of trying on and receiving a pair of shoes. They traveled an hour in a truck, paying $2 a person. Upon receiving her new shoes, what excited Elizania the most was being able to walk without her feet aching. “Now I’ll go running to school!” said Elizania.

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