A project in Venezuela to create community kitchens known as “Casas de Alimentación” is helping to reduce poverty and provide healthy food to the population, said Zoraida Ramírez, the president of the Strategic Food Programs Foundation (Fundaproal).
In an interview on Venezolana de Televisión, Ramírez said the project “has allowed people to get out of poverty,” and is connected to other public assistance programs in Venezuela known as social missions.
She explained that the community kitchens serve food to needy people in communities throughout Venezuela, and work together with social missions like Mercal, a chain of subsidized grocery stores, as well as the National Institute of Nutrition and the Institute for the Development of Small Industries.
Since the program began in March of 2004, some 6,000 “Casas de Alimentación” have been opened throughout the country. The kitchens serve free and balanced meals to about 900,000 Venezuelans.
According to the National Institute of Statistics, in 1997, 55.6% of Venezuelans were living in poverty and 25.5% faced extreme poverty. By late 2011, the rate of poverty had been reduced to 26.5% and extreme poverty had fallen to 7%.
Government policies under President Hugo Chávez have sought to guarantee access to proper nutrition among the entire population, as well as to provide free access to health care and education and boost employment and social security.
AVN / Press – Venezuelan Embassy to the U.S. / January 3, 2013