October 28, 2019 6:57 pm

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By International Community Foundation

Food insecurity is a prevalent yet often misunderstood issue. It’s easy for people to assume that food insecurity is synonymous with hunger, but they are two distinct issues: hunger is an immediate and physiological need, while food insecurity represents a lack of access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious foods for an active and healthy lifestyle. In Baja California Sur, about half of households in poor and marginalized communities report insufficient access to adequate food on a weekly basis.

The good news is that Baja California Sur Food Security Alliance (BCS-FSA) brings together a diverse group of multi- sector member organizations and individuals to partner at the local level to create meaningful solutions to this complex issue!

With a thorough knowledge of the problem and adequate support, we can help the BCS-FSA give the people of Southern Baja access to affordable, nutritious foods they need to live healthy and fulfilling lives.

Since it was founded, the BCS-FSA has taken a number of critical actions against food insecurity in Southern Baja. ICF has supported alliance members to plant community gardens paired with cooking classes and nutrition education at feeding kitchens in at-risk communities, in order to increase access to healthy ingredients. The BCS-FSA also works in tandem with community stakeholders to institute education programs that help community members learn how to garden from an early age.

Another key initiative of the alliance is to reduce food waste and rescue locally grown crops that would otherwise be thrown out, often due to strict export standards. To accomplish this, ICF has worked with consultants and members of BCS-FSA to coordinate volunteers and establish a program to collect and distribute fresh produce to the food insecure population in the region. This project really took off in 2018 thanks to a grant from Oregon Tilth’s Social Investment Project. The project was coordinated by Raíz de Fondo Jardines y Educación A.C., in La Paz, working with in-kind donations from local producers, the generosity of local volunteers, and a critical partnership with DIF BCS, a public social welfare institution. Since its inception, the project has grown from a pilot in La Paz to serve those in need throughout BCS, including Los Cabos.

You can join ICF as we support the valuable work of the BCS- Food Security Alliance by donating at- https://donate. icfdn.org/npo/southern-baja-food-security-alliance

Your contribution will go a long way toward creating sustainable, practical solutions in at-risk communities and ensure long-term change.

For more information about the BCS-FSA contact Alana Ortez, ICF Senior Programs Officer, Health and Human Services alana@icfdn.org