Local community in Playa del Carmen rallies to feed the poor during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The beachy atmosphere of Playa del Carmen, Mexico, hides the fact that the area is home to many people who face poverty every day.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mundo Habitat, a poor neighborhood in Playa del Carmen, has had a particularly tough time. Tourist dollars are a huge source of income for local families. Without tourists to fuel the area’s hospitality industry, many people are out of work and struggle to feed their children.
Thankfully, the community was able to rally. A local Spanish restaurant approached Fr. Patrick Butler, LC, in March to ask if the church could help distribute food to families in need.
Every evening at 6:00, the church opens its doors to feed local families. Every day, at least 140 people come to receive food. Today, what started as a rally cry for a local community to take care of its own hurting population in the short term has turned into a movement to feed the hungry for the long term.
They decided to call this nightly service the Solidarity Supper (“Cenas Solidarias” in Spanish) because so many people from the community are helping and choosing to stand in solidarity with the poor.
After seeing that the Spanish restaurant’s contribution wasn’t enough to feed everyone who started showing up, the parish contributed from its own pantry. In order to continue, the parish needs your help to restock on food.
Local contributions are increasing, but so is the need.
More and more people are coming for food every night, as the virus continues to spread and the economic impact lasts longer than anyone expected it would.
Community support has increased, with two more local restaurants stepping up to donate meals and food baskets. Local families are also bringing food and donating anything they can spare, from main dishes to ice and desserts. This is incredible!
However, more and more families will face food insecurity in the coming months, and your help is urgently needed today.
3 ways you can help right now:
1. Donate $660 to provide gas so food baskets can be delivered to families living in remote jungle villages in the area.
A local missionary is working with the parish to deliver food and other necessary basics to poor families living in rural areas. These families are just as hard-hit by the pandemic as the families living in Mundo Habitat, but because they live further away from the city, it’s harder for these families to receive the aid they need.
$660 will provide enough gasoline for these deliveries to continue for the next seven months.
2. Donate $410 and provide everything needed for food baskets for one month.
This provides everything needed for the food baskets, including basic foodstuffs and other household necessities like toilet paper.
A gift of $3,075 will provide for all food baskets for the next seven-and-a-half months—the duration of this project.
“This project is preaching the Gospel of authenticity to the Word through actions: ‘Whatever you did to the least of my brothers that you did unto me’ (Mt. 25:40). There is no ulterior motive to feeding the hungry and giving a cup of cold water to the thirsty than to be faithful to the Lord’s teaching.” – Fr. Patrick Butler, LC