No one goes hungry - that’s the mission statement of the Vallarta Food Bank, an initiative begun in the compassionate hearts of our community. Jimmy Plouff and Frankie Victoria Bañuelos Estrada of Tunnel Road BBQ along with Francie Nguyen of Bonito Kitchen are the founders of this new organization. They saw a crisis on its way in Puerto Vallarta as people began losing their jobs in large numbers due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Elderly were asked to stay home from their grocery-bagging jobs, restaurants and hotels were closed and businesses were shuttered.
Frankie, Jimmy and Francie all had experience in organizing a variety of volunteer initiatives here in Vallarta and beyond. And all three wanted to give bank to the community who had welcomed them with open arms.
Jimmy and Frankie worked quickly, converting their BBQ restaurant into a food bank, donating much of their own business’s food to the supply. Francie joined the board of directors and immediately set up the group’s gofundme page, which has raised nearly $87,000 to date.
Bags of food are being provided to families all over Vallarta and into surrounding villages such as San Sebastián, Quimixto and Chimo. As of this date, as many as 3000 families have been the recipients of the weekly dispensas (groceries).
Of course, there’s no way this kind of incredible support could be possible without community involvement. At Erica Maree, we decided we needed to lend a hand by doing what we do best: making beautiful things. We created our very own handcrafted masks, for sale now on our website. For every masks sold, we will donate a portion of it's profits to the Vallarta Food Bank.
Not only that, this project ensures that members of our tribe can keep working and providing for their own families - it’s a win/win situation! If you’d like a beautiful hand-embroidered mask (complete with a middle protective layer) made from 100% recycled textiles, order now!
Purchasing masks from Erica Maree means you get a beautiful face covering and you get the chance to support a wonderful community effort. There’s no downside! Check them out here.
If you want to know more about the Vallarta Food Bank, you can find them online