Plato Para Todos

Plato Para Todos

Healthy meals for underprivileged children in Quito

In the neighbourhood José Paralta, situated in the far south of Quito, a lot of children aren’t eating well and suffer from malnutrition. This obviously has many negative effects on a child’s development and future. Plato Para Todos started a Comedor Comunitario, a soup-kitchen, to contribute to the development of children and their parents and to help escape extreme poverty. They provide poor children with a healthy lunch every day while offering them a place to learn and play.

"In Quito, large quantities of fresh food are thrown away, while many low-income families have a hard time putting food on the table."

The Comedor is situated in the neighbourhood’s centre, next to a school with about 800 students. The poorest children can visit the centre daily to eat healthy, learn and play. With the help of volunteering mothers and fathers from the neighborhood they make sure there is enough local support to carry out the project. Besides that, volunteers from the Local Dreamers foundation and the Banco de Alimentos are available from time to time to help in the kitchen and teach the children. Plato Para Todos is also looking to collaborate with universities or social organizations to improve their project.

Banco de Alimentos Quito (BAQ), Quito’s local food bank, is the partner that supplies the project with fresh food every week. They mainly deliver vegetables, fruit, rice, potatoes and pasta for 10% of the normal selling price. The additional food supplies are bought weekly with donations.

In Quito, around 23 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. The south of Quito is very poor and the food people eat lacks diversity. The consumption of products such as vegetables, fruit, meat and fish is far below the recommended amounts. Limited access to nutritious food and drinks and a lack of healthy awareness form the root for the nutritional problems. According to the INEC, no less than 23% to 42% of Ecuadorians live in extreme poverty. Quito is a city of almost 70 kilometers long and only 4 kilometers wide with enormous differences in living standards, well-being and food supply. The north is rich and developed but the further you go south, the poorer the area gets. In some of the city’s poor (southern) neighbourhoods like Guamani and Chillogallo there are large shortages of nutritious food and drink.

During childhood and as an adolescent, good nutrition is essential for emotional, social and cognitive development. Macro and micronutrient deficiencies have a direct impact on a child’s attention and understanding. In poor sectors, emphasis must be placed on guaranteeing adequate nutrition for children that is necessary for learning and development. Malnutrition has negative consequences on various aspects of life such as health, education and economic effects (such as public costs and productivity). It leads to problems with social integration, an increase in poverty and emergency aid among the population, creating a vicious circle of vulnerability to malnutrition. To break the cycle of poverty, it is important that the child can develop well and use his or her talents to create a better future for his or her future family.

Plato Para Todos is Spanish for “a meal for everyone.”. It is a food project in the south of Quito, the capital of Ecuador. The project was started to help poor children with their nutrition and development. It’s main goal is to care for children at risk of serious health problems due to malnutrition.

In Quito, large quantities of fresh food are thrown away at markets, restaurants and in supermarkets. This food is wasted while many low-income families have a hard time putting food on the table. In collaboration with Banco de Alimentos Quito (BAQ), the local food bank, this project try to contribute to moving this food to deficit areas and to help people with their health.

The donations/goods that the project receives from BAQ are not enough to make complete meals out of. For example, they have to purchase meat, fish, dairy products and oils. With the help of regular donations, they can provide healthy meals for the children.

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