COVID 19 has moved all of us into new endeavors! For us that has meant the collaborative effort to bring food and trauma resources to the Hidalgo community in Fresno, CA and to launch the Up/Arriba Center Facebook page to encourage and share practical ways to be involved. What started with bags of oranges we picked from a friends tree hanging on our fence has now grow into a weekly food and resource connection to support our neighbors. Many of these families are the same ones who pick and provide produce to our valley and the world beyond and yet, struggle with food insecurity at this time.

Most of the families coming are from Oaxaca, Mexico and due to language barriers and status they are unable to access other food resources. They are often working in the fields during many of the other food distributions, as well. Before the pandemic changed the way we connected, the community center hummed with activity from after school tutoring and Bible club time, neighborhood events (bike repairs, community meetings, Latin dance), summer programs, outreach activities on Belmont to survivors of trafficking, and more.

Today we are humbled and encouraged at the outpouring of love coming from so many places that allows us to continue to connect. Staff and volunteers from the local Hidalgo elementary school have called and connected families, searching out those with limited access to resources, ensuring they are able to come get food. An anonymous family from the community came by unexpected last week with bags of prepackaged groceries for families, including milk, chicken and eggs.

The bags provide more than just physical needs, they also serve as way to get information about the virus and trauma healing resources with scripture and hope into the hands of families. Activities and art supplies are included to encourage the emotional and spiritual well-being of families as they navigate this new normal together. Each week we look forward to the way the Lord will provide the needed funds. Join us in praying for our community to be drawn to Christ and His love through this crises. Keep your eyes UP/ARRIBA where our help comes from!   

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