Roberto García-Rodríguez, Esq.
President & Chief Executive Officer
Triple-S Management Corp.
This week we announced that our foundation, Fundación Triple-S, will support the work of four NGOs in Puerto Rico that are mitigating the food insecurity impacting numerous segments of our population during the current crisis.
It is estimated that more than 60% of a person’s health is linked to factors known as social determinants of health. Food security is one of these factors.
According to the United Nations, food security is attained once everyone has physical and economic access to sufficient safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and preferences to live an active and healthy life. A study by the Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics based on 2015 data showed that, at the time, 33% of adults aged 18 and older were facing food insecurity in Puerto Rico. Without the benefit of current data, we can anticipate that food insecurity has likely grown post Hurricane Maria and will reach alarming levels due to the economic crisis caused by the pandemic. This situation once again underscores the vulnerability of our population.
In light of this abysmal scenario, we decided to continue supporting the work of World Central Kitchen. On this occasion, they have activated #ChefsForPuertoRico to supply prepared meals for senior group homes, hospital workers and police officers. This project has brought together restaurants that purchase local farm crops for preparing their meals. While meeting an urgent social need, this initiative also helps sustain the food supply chain and reduces the economic impact on small and medium-sized food related businesses.
The Puerto Rico Food Bank, meanwhile, is addressing an unprecedent rise in the number of people who lack the resources to provide food for their families, including hundreds of thousands of the newly unemployed and children who no longer have access to school lunch programs.
Iniciativa Comunitaria, an organization that for many years has provided prevention and health services to marginalized groups, has now added the distribution of prepared meals to the homeless and those who are unemployed.
Albergue El Paraíso, another organization that has tended to the homeless for years, is now expanding its services to the newly unemployed, immigrants who lack access to government aid and others who have been unable to access aid or whose Nutrition Assistance Program (PAN) checks are insufficient to cover their dietary needs.
With our support for these organizations, our Foundation reaffirms our initiative of “Alimenta tu cuerpo, Alimenta tu alma” (Feed your body, Feed your soul), which we launched as part of Triple-S’s 60th anniversary, to raise awareness about the need to address social determinants of health, in particular food security, for the wellbeing of Puerto Rico.