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Reply #6: Desperately uninformed. So sad. Creating and staffing neighborhood kitchens [View All]

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-19-10 05:43 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Desperately uninformed. So sad. Creating and staffing neighborhood kitchens
in the poverty stricken areas was one of the FIRST things done. You're unaware of the government's "missions" which have altered life for poor people vastly, years ago.

Just one instant grab from a search produces useful material:
A Vision of Food Sovereignty for Venezuela

Communities Feeding Themselves

The efforts to bolster domestic food production in Venezuela are being met with efforts to increase the ability of communities to feed themselves. There are over 6000 casas de alimentación, or feeding houses, around the country -- similar to US soup kitchens, but with a much broader mission. Casas provide nutritious food to those who need it most (pregnant women, children, the elderly, etc.), but are also meant to serve as hubs of community gathering and organizing. These programs are primarily based out of people's homes, and many were started by volunteers, purely to meet needs of their communities. They are now run through a remarkable grassroots/government partnership: the government provides food and kitchen equipment, and members of the community prepare the food and keep the sites running.

As the program has become established, those who run the casas now receive stipends, increasing community self-sufficiency. A woman who runs a feeding program directly out of her living room in the El Valle neighborhood of Caracas is clear about her priorities: "This is my job, but I don't do it for the money. This is my contribution to the process ." Additionally, the government promotes Venezuelan agriculture in the food that it provides to the casas, with the goal of eventually supplying 100% Venezuelan-grown food.

Along with providing for those most in need, there is an emphasis on universal access to affordable high-quality food. In 2002, the government started Mercal , a national network of subsidized food markets. The markets were created after a group opposing the government attempted to bring the national economy to a standstill by halting oil production and shutting down major industries. Major food distributors withheld food supplies and corporate-run supermarkets closed. This drove home the implications of Venezuela importing over 70% of its food, primarily from large corporations.

Across Venezuela, it's hard to miss the new investment in public education. Schools are being upgraded in urban and rural areas and are required to offer free breakfasts and lunches, arts, music and after-school activities. Unlike the U.S., these are well-funded mandates. Illiteracy has been virtually wiped out, according to UNESCO, thanks to adult education that has penetrated the poorest neighborhoods.

In poor communities, federally-subsidized stores called "mercals" sell food at half the market price. In the capital of Caracas, thousands of government-funded soup kitchens offer free lunches every weekday to the indigent; our delegation was headquartered in a church that served 150 free lunches per day. Across the country, new housing is being built to replace shantytown "ranchos" that so many Venezuelans live in.

Too busy to do the work for you which is your responsibility. I'm involved in dinner prep here in my own home right now.

God knows there is more than enough material which has been posted right here at D U years and years ago on the subject. You could find it right here without leaving your chair.
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