When the mission started in March 2006, it was apparent the families that were going through the garbage in the city dump were in need of food/water, clothing, shoes and just about anything else they could find to provide for their children. They were also pulling out the recyclable items such as glass, plastic, aluminum, metal, tires and cardboard. They were able to sell these to provide cash to support their families.
The mission started in March 2006 with distribution of bottles of water and a ham sandwiches to the adults who were working in the city dump. Each Tuesday sandwiches were made at Paradise Village resort and taken out on Wednesday mornings.
The mission also identified that the children were hungry and in an effort to get them out of the dump site, a breakfast program was created. Each morning along the base of the dump volunteers bring breakfast items. In the early years vitamins went along with breakfast. This encouraged the children to be at home rather than in the dump site.
This program continues, however will soon be changing locations to the community center. For safety and health reasons they will begin gathering at the community center along with the other children in the mission.
In May of 2009 there was no longer a need to provide sandwiches as regular feeding programs were becoming available at the center. Also Friday food bag handouts were happening at the center where data could be gathered and there was more personal contact with each person as they picked up their assistance. This change really helped develop relationships and trust with the adults the mission was assisting.
The mission always has lunch or snacks available for the children that are attending all programs at the Community Center which has been open since October 2008.
A drinking water program was implemented. Families can bring a 20 litre jug empty and exchange for a full one, to ensure the children are receiving proper drinking water.
Friday food bag handouts have improved with the regular donations received from SAM’S CLUB & WALMART. Twice a week we receive dented/damaged and soon to expire goods which are put on the food bank shelves.
Now rather than each family receiving rice, beans and tuna, they have a wide variety of items to choose from.
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