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Stories from the Field

The Power of a Nutritious Meal for Maryurie’s Son

By Hannah Payne on February 18, 2022

In the small, quiet town of Muelle de los Bueyes in Nicaragua, the majority of the population relies on livestock and agriculture for a living. This is the town where 26-year-old Maryurie was born and raised and where she now works as a certified nursing technician.

In 2019, Maryurie gave birth to her son. Throughout her pregnancy, she was an active member of the Healthy Beginnings Club at ORPHANetwork, a longtime partner organization of Rise Against Hunger. Through the club, Maryurie was educated on the importance of breastfeeding and proper nutrition, and she received prenatal checkups and vitamins.

A few months after her son’s birth, a medical condition prevented Maryurie from being able to continue breastfeeding her baby. Additionally, Maryurie and her husband sometimes struggle to find employment in the rural area’s healthcare sector and the family was, therefore, struggling to make ends meet. In November 2019, the Healthy Beginnings Club’s quarterly health assessments determined that Maryurie’s soon was malnourished. To address this, the family began receiving a monthly supply of Rise Against Hunger meals, distributed by ORPHANetwork.

The meals provided crucial nutritional support for Maryurie, her son and her husband. It also reduced their family’s expenses, which enabled them to buy other foods to further increase their nutritional intake and vary their diets. Maryurie said, “We not only had help with our economic situation, but the meals also helped improve the diet and immune system of my child whose health was suffering due to my own health situation.”

Silvia, a community nurse at ORPHANetwork, explains that the Rise Against Hunger meals are fundamental for the work to reduce acute and chronic malnutrition in this community. She said, “One of our main strategies is to provide a box of Rise Against Hunger meals on a monthly basis to the children with malnutrition, knowing that it will not only be consumed by that specific child, but by the whole family.”

Maryurie’s son and her entire family reached and maintained nutritional health. Reyna, the local community leader of the Healthy Beginnings Club, said, “I hope we get to the moment where there are zero children with malnutrition in Muelle de los Bueyes, and they are all reaching their potential for a better future and a better community.”

For the community that has always been home to Maryurie, the future starts with a meal. The meals support healthier children and a chance to overcome malnutrition. Maryurie wants to help that future happen for her community. Described by Reyna as someone who cares about her family and community, Maryurie now hopes to become more financially secure so she can help other families.

Donate today to Rise Against Hunger to support impact which starts with a meal in the lives of people, like Maryurie and her son, around the world.