Food insecurity is defined as the disruption of food intake or eating patterns because of lack of money and other resources . According to USAID, more than 800 million people across the world go to bed hungry every night, most of them small farmers who depend on agriculture to make a living and feed their families. This reality is reflected throughout Nicaragua, particularly in northern subsistence farming communities. Investing in these farmers—many of whom are women—and the food systems that nourish them is more important than ever.
Comunidad Connect is committed to addressing food insecurity in the communities where we work by aligning short-term assistance with long-term development strategies such as increasing access to nutritious food and providing technical assistance and capital for agricultural production.
In 2018, a socio-economic crisis in Nicaragua caused the national economy to collapse. Comunidad Connect’s field staff realized that many elderly residents were only eating once a day. In response, CC began distributing meals to the most vulnerable people in Los Robles. Community health promoters listed the households most in need. In an open meeting, they reached a consensus about who would be included in the program. Within a week, the first hot and nutritious meals were being distributed. During the first three years of the program, 6,000 plates of food have been prepared and delivered. We call this our “Food For Good” program.
Approach & Aspirations - Food For Good
Goal 2 of the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals is to “end hunger by achieving food security, improving nutrition, and promoting sustainable agriculture”. Our “Food For Good” program directly addresses food security by providing nourishment to those who are in need. Three paid health promoters of Los Robles staff this program to prepare and deliver 250 meals a month to seniors living alone, special needs patients, and other isolated residents of the community (pop. 2,200).
Approach & Aspirations - Grow For Good
In 2020, we issued loans to two families led by Deisy Gonzalez and Elizabeth Castro, to plant and harvest corn. We observed and learned a lot during this first phase of Grow For Good. It became increasingly obvious that the local market does not reliably offer fair terms for small farmers like Deisy and Elizabeth. Without access to better markets, farmers often have to accept the offer of intermediary “coyotes’ ‘that buy low in rural communities and sell high in the urban centers
Temporary jobs every month
Meals Delivered Every Month
In developing economies, entrepreneurship is often viewed as an important component in stimulating economic growth, innovation, and alleviating poverty. However, the lack of capital is often the greatest barrier to entry. Entrepreneurs must then seek external financing often associated with predatory interest rates. As a more palatable alternative, Comunidad Connect invests in people and their ideas by providing microloans and technical assistance in return for social impact. We invest in bakers, chicken farmers, shopkeepers, and artisans – and you can too.
Our enterprise initiatives begin with a woman named Angela Alaniz, her son, Becker, and her nephew, Angel. It was mid 2021 and the community of Los Robles, Nicaragua was still feeling the aftermath of the 2018 socio-economic crisis. Unemployment was at a record high and COVID-19 was ever present. Angela spoke to Director of Community Development, Yarisleidy Cortez, about potential business opportunities and microloan financing. It had been 15 years since Comunidad Connect ran a microenterprise development project (then called “Savings Start”). Yet something intrigued Yarisleidy about what Angela had to say.