In September, to expand our reach and help more destitute children and their families in the Mysore area, we began distributing monthly "care packages" to new kids and grannies in need.
The kids we help through Project Food and More have lost either one or both parents to a debilitating illness, such as HIV/AIDS or tuberculosis, and who now live with a grannie or other relative who has taken on the added burden of feeding one or two more mouths. In addition to losing parents to disease, the kids come only from the poorest economic backgrounds, and we visit their homes to ensure that they meet our criteria. Click here to read about some of these families.
During our first month, we distributed care packages to 16 families and expect to receive additional lists of qualifying kids in the coming weeks from our friends at the local clinics.
The care packages contain food goodies (rice, lentils), bath and laundry soap, mosquito coils (to keep away mosquitoes carrying malaria), protein powder, cookies and biscuits, and some cash -- valued at about $25.00 (Rs.1,200). This amount represents about a 30% to 50% increase in our families' monthly income.
Given the dramatic increase in gasoline and food costs -- on the order of 40% in five months for basics such as rice, sugar, lentils -- and the extra hardship in caring for one or two additional kids for some of these grannies and uncles, the care packages are received with open arms.
For more on Project Food and More, for profiles on the kids that we help through this program, and for information on how you can be a "care package" financial supporter, please see our website.