Buenos Vecinos de Boquete – Feeding the Hungry
What We Do
Buenos Vecinos de Boquete (“Good Neighbors of Boquete”) is a small, all volunteer committee that provides non-perishable food on a monthly basis to over 120 needy clients in the greater Boquete area. The majority of these clients are elderly, single moms, handicapped or struggling to support a handicapped family member.
WHAT WE PROVIDE
Staples such as rice, cooking oil, beans, flour, pasta, salt, canned fish, canned meat, and powdered milk are purchased wholesale every month. MannaPacks, a nutritional soy and rice product, are donated by Phillip McGuigan’s foundation Amigos de Boquete. This food is delivered to a central packing area and the BVB volunteers place approximately $35 worth of food into individual bags. The bags are delivered to client families or are picked up at the Handicap Foundation (Fundacion Pro-Integracion) and Amigos de Boquete which are both in Alto Boquete.
HOW WE ARE FUNDED
Funds to purchase food are provided by generous community members and supporters, even beyond the Chiriqui area of Panama. Members who donate $360 or more a year become members of the BVB Coconut Foundation. A donation in any amount is always greatly appreciated! BVB volunteers assisted by many in the area raise funds throughout the year. One of the fund-raising programs is the scheduled Food Drive in front of Supermercado Romero in downtown Boquete. Romero’s customers are encouraged to purchase some of the same staples we distribute to our clients, or to make a monetary donation. Some of our fundraisers include cook-offs, a wine tasting, a multi-charity venta de patio, a bilingual cookbook sale, a restaurant program and a multi-charity raffle.
HOW WE CHOOSE OUR CLIENTS
To ensure that BVB donations are spent most efficiently and ethically, BVB volunteers, and translators when required, make home visits to prospective clients. They assess housing conditions and costs, health issues, family make-up, income, and other factors that affect the prospective client’s life. These criteria are revisited on a regular basis to determine any changes in their eligibility to receive BVB monthly allotments. BVB volunteers strive to establish and maintain relationships with representatives from government offices, clinics, and other charities who are often the contact point between the BVB volunteers and the clients we serve.