Covid-19 is still prevalent in the US and around the world. After two years of the pandemic, we all have been impacted in one way or another —and the same can be said for our families in Guatemala.
Throughout the pandemic, Common Hope’s social workers have identified a higher prevalence of food insecurity, loss of employment, and strained physical, emotional, and educational health, significantly impacting the families we serve.
The rising costs of groceries has made it difficult for households (who sometimes survive on less than $2 a day) to feed their families. Coupled with reduced income due to job loss, food insecurity remains a top concern for parents. Food is essential for families and growing children in school. Food insecurity during childhood can have long-lasting impacts. The economic stress has caused some students to prefer to work and not study. When a student’s top priority is satiating a hungry belly, education takes a back seat to supplement extra income for their families.
But there is hope. Families who are food insecure and have lost their jobs due to Covid-19 have become Common Hope’s top priority. The social work team has developed a new partnership that facilitates the purchase of food for families through prepaid cards so they can buy what they need and can be re-loaded if needed. Not only does this make it easier to meet the families where they are at, but it also makes it easier to manage from an administrative perspective.
Currently, 331 prepaid cards have been delivered to families so they can purchase groceries and hygiene products that best fit their needs. Common Hope is committed to continuing to support families who are food insecure. Four food benefits will be delivered each year to families in need.
During these challenging times, social workers have been able to support families by actively listening to their concerns, directing them to programs that will provide aid, and helping motivate them to keep moving forward. Through home and tele-visits, social workers have maintained a steadier communication flow that keeps them in constant contact with families.
They have made various referrals to programs such as The Clinic (for prescription refills, consultations, and Covid-19 testing), Scholarships Department (for educational needs of the scholarship recipients, internet payments, and tickets to educational centers), and the Healthy Mind Program. (provides emotional support for students and families)
Families have shared that support from Common Hope is a helping hand that gives them strength in times of stress and worry. Families feel motivated knowing that the Common Hope team is in their corner, helping them through difficult situations. Social workers feel hopeful about what’s to come in the future. Although this year has been different, there have been new feelings of joy brought by the return of social workers visiting communities again.
You help by providing critical funding that Common Hope needs to prevent food instability and hunger. Please help us ensure that families’ needs are met by donating to the Covid-19 Crisis Response.