Baby-Food Drive for Venezuela
Editor's note: South Floridians are increasingly opening their kitchens and wallets to raise money and awareness for crises elsewhere in the globe. Recently, we wrote about Aragon 101's Dinner for Cambodia, an ongoing project to raise funds for a school library; the Syrian Supper Club is hosting s series of dinners by Syrian refugees who have recently arrived (more info here).
What's happening in Venezuela – severe shortages of food and supplies amid civil unrest and political crisis – is not going unnoticed in Florida, the state with the highest concentration of Venezuelans. For sisters Isabel Garcia Nevett and Susana Garcia of Miami's Cacao Art, it was the plight of the children in public hospitals that moved them to action.
"One year ago there was a devastating article in a Venezuelan newspaper describing how sick children in public hospitals were not getting enough food and how the children and parents suffered," says Nevett. "Even with all the hard news that comes out of our country, this was particularly heartbreaking. Our friend started a charity and we soon contacted her to see how we could help."
The chocolatiers are hosting a special donation event on Saturday, May 13, to collect formula, baby food and other essentials to donate to Comparte por Una Vida, the foundation distributing the food to children and parents in hospitals in Venezuela. It's run by Ana Isabel Otero, an acquaintance. "She is a remarkable woman and entrepreneur who started one of the first and most successful social media management companies in Venezuela. She founded Comparte por Una Vida a year ago and has turned it into a great foundation that brings food to children directly in hospitals around the country. All donations are given to the parents and children, so there is no doubt that they are getting their share. The foundation also feeds an entire low-income school daily."
Cacao Art is offering free hot chocolate and bonbons for those bringing donations on Saturday, and sending 25% of profits from Mother's Day sales to Comparte. The shop is serving as an ongoing drop-off point for goods at all times, Nevett says.
As Venezuelan immigrants, Garcia and Nevett say they aim to keep their ties to Venezuela strong. "As chocolatiers, we only use chocolate made in Venezuela or with Venezuelan cacao. We think it is important to raise awareness about the situation in our country."
Cacao Art is located at 7165 SW 47th St. in Miami.