The CFO board was scheduled to be in Guaymas this week but, instead, we were just on a Zoom call with Fr. Tommy. The COVID-19 situation is becoming desperate. As we experienced after the typhoon in 2015, the Casa Franciscana Mission is the hub for food and medicines. However, for the protection of the people we serve and our staff, the facilities are closed. We are distributing “to go” food once a day from our main dining room with a small team of employees in protective gear. The meal is made up primarily of canned sardines, crackers and a bottle of water or juice.
Most maquiladoras (factories) are shut down. Large numbers of people are unemployed and joining our food lines. Tomorrow is the day for the monthly dispensas which are the food boxes normally distributed to the elderly and disabled. However, those who usually receive the boxes are asked to come or send someone to the main dining room. Some will most likely send children since schools are closed. Medicines will be distributed in a separate building. The Mission had enough beans and staples to prepare 70 extra boxes but many more people are expected.
The police patrols are enforcing shut downs and “healthy distancing”. The Mission is trying to comply by using two streets and an alley for lines with enough space in between. People start lining up at 6:30 a.m. The plan tomorrow, is to begin handing out “tickets” and asking the people to come back when the dining room opens and they will be guaranteed food. After the tickets are gone they will sadly tell people to leave. Not sure how that will work or where these people will go. It breaks our hearts.
In addition to the food crisis, the CFO board, has committed to paying all Mission staff whether working or not at least through June. Some of these employees are the only ones working in multi-generational families.
We know that you are being asked for donations from many organizations. We also know that when the stay at home order is lifted the need in our neighborhoods will be more than before the crisis. Please do whatever you are able to provide comfort and hope in this catastrophic time and pray for us as we pray for you. We are in this together.