Not that we don’t love PV as much as ever, but there’s no getting around the fact that these are strange days in this sunny city by the sea. The ongoing municipal shutdown has thrown hundreds of thousands of local lives into question…indeed, for many of the city’s residents, already unsteady finances have become less reliable than ever before.

However,¨that noted philosopher Fred Rogers once encouraged us to “look for the helpers” in times of crisis…and so, we at #WeLovePV feel it is especially important to showcase  individuals who have gone above and beyond to provide assistance to the most vulnerable members of our community…this week, we shine the spotlight on the folks at Vallarta Food Bank.

The former Tunnel Road BBQ team answered a more critical call in the wake of the Jalisco state quarantine that has virtually frozen the global economy. Frankie and Jimmy of Vallarta Food Bank were extraordinarily proactive as the crisis unfolded, announcing plans to transition their restaurant into a community kitchen even before the official shelter-in-place order was handed down.

¨I loved running Tunnel Road, but the fact is that PV needs a food bank a lot more than a BBQ spot right now.¨ commented the newly shaven proprietor. ¨I’ve gotten some help from local business owners too, Miranda over at PONO Poke Bowls donated their entire food stock when they closed for the lockdown, everybody is coming together to make this happen.¨

On the subject of his new styling, Jimmy’s trademark whiskers turned out to be a valuable contribution to the cause.

A donation drive centered around the facial fuzz quickly reached its goal of raising 12,000 USD to support relief efforts at Vallarta Food Bank. The team feels these funds will greatly bolster their chances to keep the distribution program active during the long summer, when the crisis is expected to compound yearly visiting patterns that typically ebb at this time in any event.

Continuing my evolving role as Lifestyle Scout, my commitment to a complete report involved a visit to the distribution center on a Monday morning, when new clients are processed into the system. Each client is issued a paper card good for 5 packages of nonperishable essentials including beans, rice, cereal, flour, tuna, and spices, which can be collected on a weekly basis.

When the card is no longer valid, clients are re-evaluated for need, and can receive another card good for 5 more package pickups. ¨I think its a good system.¨ Jimmy explained. ¨No one knows how long this thing is going to last, so we want to make sure the right people are getting the help they need for as long as possible.¨

Of course, limited public funding for the Vallarta Food Bank means that the organization relies on donations from the public to stay viable, and that’s where we all can help. Donations can be made to the program using the VFB website, through the tax-deductible contribution portal, through PayPal, made monthly through Patreon, and you can also visit the Facebook page of the distribution center for more information.

Website: vallartafoodbank.com

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