by Kimberley Faddah
Ojochal Community Food Bank (OCFB) celebrated its first anniversary in November, 2015. Through the hard work of its dedicated committee members, as well as generous donations from the community, they have provided 100 food baskets to eleven families in Ojochal, including 38 children who might otherwise have gone hungry.
In addition to providing food, the OCFB has assisted families by helping with electrical and plumbing repairs, removing a tree about to cause damage, replacing a collapsed roof, distributing donated mattresses and basic household items, and supplying backpacks of school supplies.
The goal of the OCFB is to help the families get back on their feet and become self-sufficient again. To further this goal, the OCFB built and delivered four chicken coops to families, some of whom are now selling chickens to the Ojochal community. They have planted crops such as yucca, plantain, papaya, etc. in a community garden within the village; and inform recipients of work opportunities.
Other services include providing tutoring struggling students, as well as transportation to government offices and medical appointments, and from the hospital following delivery of a baby.
The first bi-annual Community Garage Sale the OCFB organized in September 2015 was a huge success, and the one being held March 2016, will be another opportunity for community involvement and fundraising. As the OCFB enters its second year; it is working on establishing full not-for-profit status. The OCFB intends to further develop opportunities for community involvement and volunteerism and will be opening a Donation and Volunteer Center in Ojochal.
The OCFB is grateful for the ongoing support and donations received from the community, without which its work could not continue.