Yeni is a friendly 5-year-old who loves to help her mother with household chores. She and her siblings live with their parents in a small house in El Salvador with earthen floors.
Her dad works long hours laying bricks so he can earn money to support his family. The family stretches his pay—about $100 a month—to cover the bare necessities, including simple meals of tortillas and beans.
Yeni’s family doesn’t have a lot, but they never complain. Instead, the loving family expresses concern for one another.
“I love my family,” Yeni’s mother, Zoila says. “Most of the time I feel stress because it is hard to buy nutritive food for my children.”
As for young Yeni, she knows the sacrifice her dad makes for her. “I don’t see my father so often because he works a lot every day for our family,” she says.
Though Yeni doesn’t go to bed hungry—Zoila makes sure of that—the food that’s available to their family lacks vitamins and nutrients. In fact, many children in her community were facing malnutrition, which can put a child’s growth and development at risk.
But you helped change their lives. Through your generosity, you made it possible to establish a Meal Center, where Yeni and more than 100 children in her village can go every day after school. There, Yeni enjoys nutritious hot meals packed with the proteins and vitamins she needs to thrive.
The Meal Center also offers the children in her village toys, vitamins and deworming medicines, in addition to the healthy foods their families can’t afford to buy. And each year, Feed the Children brings medical brigades to the community so that the residents can receive free medical attention.
Yeni loves the food at the Meal Center—and she’s growing taller and stronger because of it! Zoila is thrilled to see her children eating so well. That makes Yeni happy too. She says, “I love the food. It is delicious. And my mom feels happy. She says that it is healthy!”
No child should have to suffer from hunger or malnutrition, especially during the holidays. Thank you for giving from your heart so children like Yeni can have nourishing meals—and so her family doesn’t have to worry.
People like you can give Yeni’s family something to celebrate, especially during one of the hungriest years in modern times.
In honor of Yeni and her Salvadorian heritage, we’d like to share this special recipe of Curtido.
Curtido is a simple cabbage salad traditionally served with pupusas, or thick flatbread, in Salvadoran and Central American cuisine. Restaurants keep it in large jars and serve it as a popular side. Experience a taste of Central America from the safety of your own kitchen.
- 1/2 head of cabbage, shredded
- 1 carrot, peeled and grated
- 4 cups boiling water
- 3 minced scallions
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 minced jalapeno or serrano chile pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Place the cabbage and carrots in a large heat-proof bowl.
- Pour the boiling water into the bowl to cover the cabbage and carrots and set aside for 5 minutes.
- Drain in a colander, pressing out as much liquid as possible.
- Return the cabbage and carrots to the bowl and toss with the remaining ingredients.
- Let set at room temperature for a couple hours or overnight if you like.
- Then chill and serve as an accompaniment to pupusas or as a side dish. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
If you are able, please take a moment today to make a donation. Any gift, no matter the amount, can be the difference between hunger and hope for a child.