What We Do

Distributions, Gardens, and Education
«A PUERTO RICO WITH STABLE FOOD SECURITY»

Distributions

Narrative Description: ACOMERPR is focusing on community distributions as a way to mitigate hunger and improve accessibility and affordability to nutritious food

We distribute food and PPE’s to community organizations throughout the archipelago who do not have access or the certifications necessary to claim the in-kind contributions that their beneficiaries need.
As a grassroots network of volunteers in March of 2020, ACOMER began its operations in food distribution. We received both in-kind and monetary donations at the beginning of the pandemic to deliver groceries to those who could not afford or access them. In the Summer of 2020, we transitioned to larger distributions following our participation in the USDA Farmers to Families program, providing the manpower and distribution networks for donations received from the USDA. As a result of this program, we distributed over 160,000 meals and 3 million lbs. of food to Puerto Ricans across the island. In addition to food distribution, we also hosted events: in April 2020, we hosted a 4,000 person hot-food cookout in Ponce. As our distributions expanded, we began distributing other donated materials as well: 1,500 vaccines, $100,000 of furniture, and 2,000 backpacks filled with back-to-school supplies.
image1
image2
In the process we created a network of volunteers who were focused on improving their community’s access to nutritious food, establishing an island-wide database of local leaders via a community group chat (with over 40+ community leaders and organizations). Coordinating with volunteers, we distribute goods to communities via a first-come first-serve basis, as long as there is no duplication of distributions. It is our intention this coming year to expand upon this toolkit and promote the adoption of it throughout many more Puerto Rican communities.
We are currently supplied by the Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program, which is a part of the local Department of Agriculture.

Huerto Rico

Narrative Description: With a grant from the AARP, we built 5 community gardens in the towns of
San Juan, Camuy, Ponce, Mayaguëz, and Loiza. 

COVID has deeply affected social engagement within communities. Seeking to provide a safe social space where people could be with one another, we built 5 community gardens throughout the island on a grant from the AARP. The community gardens provide:
The gardens are overseen by “community leaders” who organize group gardening sessions between volunteers, and we are in consistent contact with them through our community leader group chat. In the coming year, we hope to expand volunteer engagement in the gardens by implementing a coordinated strategy between leaders.
We have partnered with el Servicio de Extensíon Agrícola (S.E.A.), to conduct educational workshops focusing on raising nutritional awareness. In “Gardening 101”, the class explores topics from food insecurity to composting to different species of vegetables. In addition to food- related material, we have also had seminars teaching technological literacy to the elderly.

Food Security Education

Narrative Description: There is a scarcity of information relating to food security in Puerto Rico, and we are dedicated to creating educational content to promote awareness about the issue.
In this particular project, we are currently creating and posting content on our social media pages, and as of the 1st quarter of 2022, we have been deploying a web-blog with relevant research articles and dissertations around food security topics around the archipelago. This effort will be done in conjunction with 3 other NGO’s, 9 Subject Matter Expert Professors, 1 agronomist and 2 current MPA candidates at the University of Puerto Rico Medical campus.
We are also planning to conduct 3 surveys on food insecurity in the coming year. We plan to do this by including surveys as part of the meal distribution process, in addition to partnering with other organizations to include surveys in their distribution operations. It is our hope that by coordinating with these organizations and sharing information that we can create some of the first direct statistical data on food insecurity on the island.
image5
image7

FUTURE PROJECTS

In the next 3 years, our goal is to refine and expand our distribution infrastructure, in addition to our community development and research initiatives.

Distributing national food security surveys

Purchasing vans for distribution

Establishing a Brick & Mortar “El Centro ACOMER”

Become Our Volunteer

We need your help, we are looking for volunteers, community leaders, and donors. We want a Puerto Rico with stable food security.
English EN Español ES