When he can, Fernando Cordero Arguedas works at odd jobs, but lately caring for his 95-year-old mother has been a fulltime job since she had a stroke a few months ago. In addition, his 93-year-old uncle has heart problems, and his wife’s four nieces and nephews came to live with them a year ago when their mother lost custody of them. In all, there are 10 mouths to feed in their household in the San Pedro neighborhood of Nosara. So when they received a donation of food and soap on July 20, they considered it a blessing.
Families like them that are facing serious economic hardships are now receiving extra assistance from the Nosara Food Bank, which was launched on June 10 to provide food and other necessities to families in extreme need.
Linda Tarlow, who lives in Guiones, organized the Nosara Food Bank because of her own experience working with families in Esperanza. As Tarlow explained, “There are two types of food insecurity in this area. Some families live in extreme poverty – for a variety of reasons – and need assistance frequently. There are also many, many families who need assistance during the September and October rainy season when numerous workers are laid off from their jobs. The focus of the Nosara Food Bank is on helping families with children.”
The project has been endorsed by the Nosara Civic Association (NCA) and the Nosara Integral Development Association (ADIN). Food and other items collected are distributed by the Pastoral Social of the Catholic Church of Nosara. The Pastoral Social distributes to people of all faiths and reaches even isolated families throughout the parish from El Torito of Samara to San Juanillo, at the same time imparting a scriptural message.
Of the 25 families that received assistance during the month of June, 17 families live in the Nosara area, according to Oscar Cordero Arias, a member of Pastoral Social. “If we had more food, it wouldn’t be 25 families but rather 40 or more,” he indicated and assured that the families are visited and carefully screened to make sure they really are in need. “Very difficult times are coming and there is a lot of need.”
During the first four weeks, the Nosara Food Bank collected 27 bags of rice and 28 bags of beans, in addition to other food and household items.“There has been a good response,” commented Tarlow, noting that the Pastoral Social is already putting food aside for distribution during the most economically difficult months of September and October. “We need people to continue to make donations. The program is working,” she assured.
Containers for donations are located at Super La Paloma, Super Vida and Super Nosara. Area residents are asked to donate one or more items every time they shop at the grocery store. Items always needed are milk and fruit juice, cooking oil, corn flour, rice, beans, sugar, canned tuna, laundry detergent, bar soap, feminine hygiene products, toilet paper and baby diapers.
The food bank will also distribute items that travelers bring to Nosara for donation. Gently used linens, learning toys, and new children’s underwear are in great demand, according to Tarlow. “I am hoping people will put a few of these sorts of items in their suitcase next time they visit,” she said.
For more information about the food bank, contact Linda Tarlow at [email protected]. In addition, the Pastoral Social has an account in Banco Costa Rica to receive donations to help families with medication and transportation to the hospital, account number 001-0306665-7.