The Maestro Cares Foundation makes this project possible through a donation of $150,000 to Boys &Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico

he non-profit and community-based organization Boys & Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico(BGCPR) received a $150,000donation from the Maestro Cares Foundation, the non-profit founded by the Puerto Rican singer Marc Anthony. The donation allowed the construction of the first resilient kitchen at its service center in Bayamón. Over 150 children and young people who attend the Club daily will benefit from nutritious food per day, and in case of extreme emergency, it has the capacity to deliver up to 500 plates of food daily.
The opening of the kitchen, which in times of emergency will also serve as support to the communities that surround it, was attended by BGCPR Youth of the Year, who is the spokesperson and representative of Puerto Rican children and youth;the president of the organization and members of the Board of Directors and its executive team;executives from Maestro Cares Foundation; community leaders;participants and staff of the center that celebrates its 7th year of serving and positively impacting Bayamon community. A mural by the artist Jennifer Martínez, in which students from BGCPR’seducational and art program participated, adorns the façade of the kitchen.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico’s president, Olga Ramos Carrasquillo, Esq.expressed that “we are grateful for the donation from Maestro Cares Foundation, an entity alignedwith our vision in the eradication of child poverty. With the resilient kitchen our participantswill continue to have a nutritious food, so they cancontinuelearning while playing. In the face of any other natural disaster or community emergency, this kitchen will allow us to be efficient, ready and react in time as a resilient center.”
“Aware that 90% of our participants -childrenand young people from 6 to 18 years old-live in households with incomes below the poverty level, our food program guarantees their well-being by offering them a hot and healthy meal every day. For many of them, this meal will be the last meal the children will eat before going to bed.

The program has been a solution to all of these challenges, helping our vulnerable communities meet their nutritional needs since 2020 so we were able to distribute grab-and-go meals to our participants and families, helping with the financial burden created by the accumulated emergencies during the Covid pandemic.” added Carrasquillo.

For his part, Henry Cardenas, co-founder of Maestro Cares Foundation, said that “on behalf of Marc Anthony, of our Maestro Cares Foundation, and on my behalf, we express our pride in being part of this project and of being able to have a positive impact on the lives of youth in Puerto Rico.

81% of the families of Boys & Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico’s participants have an annual income of less than $15,000. Living in poverty means that our children and youth grow up in families that do not have sufficient income to cover their basic needs for quality education, food, health services, transportation, among others. As a result, they do not develop the necessary skills to meet their personal and professional goals, which would allow them to lift themselves out of poverty. In Puerto Rico we see low-income families and youth trapped in this cycle, generation after generation, surviving month after month. Together, we can make a difference, improve their conditions and feed the future of Puerto Rico.

For those who wish to contribute to the BGCPR food program and help ensure that every child and young person in the entity’s 19 service centers has access to adequate food, you can make donations through donate.bgcpr.orgor through of ATH Móvil using pATH/BoysandGirlsClubsdePR.