Food Insecurity in Mexico
When the COVID-19 pandemic first struck in March 2020, a group of college students came together to start The Farmlink Project, a nonprofit organization that works to alleviate food insecurity among poor people. Now, nearly a year later, Farmlink is making its mission an international one with The Farmlink Project: Mexico, which will fight food insecurity in Mexico. At the same time that Farmlink was forming, Mexicans living in poverty were experiencing the same disproportionate effects that the pandemic has had on the world’s poor communities.

Food Insecurity in Mexico

The pandemic hit Mexico early. The country had the fourth-highest death toll in the world by June 2020. As a result, impoverished communities suffered the brunt of the consequences. A government agency estimated that about 10 million people in Mexico fell into extreme poverty due to the economic effects of the pandemic. Food insecurity in Mexico became an immediate problem in many communities. Moreover, the government did little to support its citizens. Mexico did not provide stimulus checks or similar measures. Essentially, citizens ended up fending for themselves.

The Farmlink Project has been incredibly successful in its mission to deliver unused food to communities in need. This organization’s strategy is simple, straightforward and effective. It finds inefficiencies in the food distribution system that leads to food waste. Thus, the nonprofit implements measures to prevent that waste. Additionally, it receives donations for supporters. The nonprofit facilitates the transfer of that food directly to impoverished communities through food banks.

Food insecurity in Mexico is a prominent problem. However, the nation produces enough food to feed its citizens. Yet, the infrastructure necessary to feed everyone does not yet exist. Thus, The Farmlink Project is leaving a big impact on citizens by addressing food waste. This is more important now as Mexicans continue to sink into extreme poverty.

The Farmlink Project

The Farmlink Project’s Data Analytics lead Jake Landry talked to The Borgen Project about how it is approaching the unique challenges and opportunities of fighting hunger in Mexico. He stated that the nonprofit’s transfer into Mexico has started positively. It has delivered 112,160 kilograms of produce to Mexico since the beginning of the mission. Additionally, it has prevented 113,464 kilograms of carbon emissions in Mexico. Furthermore, it has begun working with GrupoPaisano, a fair trade organization that supports Mexican farmers. Together the organizations are creating media collaborations and promotional videos to raise awareness of The Farmlink Project’s mission.

This organization has been successful in the United States and is now providing hope to Mexicans during the pandemic. The Farmlink Project’s goal is to lay the groundwork for new infrastructure in the food distribution network in Mexico. It hopes to eliminate the large amount of food waste that Mexico generates every year.

– Leo Ratté
Photo: Flickr

Top 10 Facts About Hunger in Mexico
Mexico has suffered from the effects of poverty and food insecurity for decades. The problem does not lie in food unavailability but in the fact that areas living in poverty do not make enough money to purchase necessary goods. This issue is being addressed and alleviated by nonprofit organizations like The Hunger Project (THP) and even the country’s President, Enrique Peña Nieto. In the text below top 10 facts about hunger in Mexico are presented.

Top 10 Facts About Hunger in Mexico

  1. About 8.5 million residents of Mexico or about 7 percent of the population need to live on less than $2 a day.
  2. Mexico is experiencing an unbalanced distribution of wealth where the richest part of the population has nearly 14 times more money than the poorest one. As different social classes have different access to food the main problem with food insecurity is accessibility, not availability.
  3. At least 10 percent of all residents of Mexico experience poor access to food, while the inadequate food access affects between 25 and 35 percent of the population in nine states.
  4. Mexico suffers from issues with malnutrition, anemia, overweight and obesity. The rates of malnutrition have dropped significantly but about 13 percent of children under the age of 5 suffer from malnutrition and one in four children is overweight or obese. Rates of malnutrition are highest in rural areas and obesity is highest in urban areas.
  5. Between 2003 and 2005, the food supply per capita daily in Mexico was 3,270 kilocalories on average, while the minimum requirements are only 1,850 kilocalories per capita daily.
  6. According to data acquired by the National Survey of Wholesale, Food and Nutritional Status in Rural Areas  (ENAAEN), all food groups for a healthy diet were available for sale within the communities. The problem is that residents do not have sufficient income to purchase all the goods they need.
  7. In 2008, 18.2 percent of the population in Mexico was in poverty meaning they could not buy adequate food for their families even if they use their entire income. An analysis done by CONEVAL found that the states with the highest percentages of food poverty were Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca.
  8. Since nearly 52 million people in Mexico suffer from hunger, President Enrique Peña Nieto instituted an executive order that he would fight the issue directly. In Chiapas, he announced the program called La Cruzada Nacional contra el Hambre (National Crusade against Hunger). The program works to enhance the social development, education and defense amongst 400 of the country’s poorest communities. He also began Sistema Nacional contra el Hambre (National System against Hunger) that works to be a legal medium for government agencies and the communities over issues about hunger.
  9. A nonprofit organization called The Hunger Project (THP) is working to fight hunger and poverty with strategies that are sustainable, grassroots and women-centered. They have also been addressing issues of food insecurity in Mexico.
  10. In 2013, THP celebrated 30 years of working in Mexico. Between 1987 and 1997, THP was focused mainly on raising awareness of the problem and raising money to alleviate the hunger. Later on, between 1998 and 2004, it trained people to become change agents, with the primary goal to develop change within the communities. The training began in Mexico City and assigned the change agents into some the poorest communities in the country. Finally, in 2012, it strengthened the programs and focused on monitoring and evaluating progress. The organization has worked in Chiapas, Zacatecas, San Luis Potosi and Oaxaca.

The top 10 facts about hunger in Mexico highlight the main problem which can be summarized in the fact that the food is available but cannot be accessed due to the different reasons mentioned above.

– David Daniels
Photo: Flickr