“Pops” (left) helps Plenty volunteer and bus driver, Gary Maclaughlin, figure out directions in New Orleans.
Though Plenty is primarily a “development” agency, our Board and staff and network of volunteers have years of disaster relief experience beginning with tornadoes in the US, the Guatemala earthquake of 1976, hurricanes in Central America and the tsunami of last December. From our headquarters on the Farm
in southern Tennessee it felt like Katrina had battered our close neighbors. We had to respond. Plenty was fortunate to get into an immediate hurricane relief alliance with the Veterans For Peace. The VFP had already set up a shelter and distribution center when we arrived. In the above photo supplies are being unloaded from the Plenty bus at the VFP distribution center and shelter in Covington, LA. The VFP bus, “The White Rose,” is in front of the Plenty bus. (cont. p. 2)
A house in Biloxi, MS
(photo by Elaine Langley)
Plenty volunteer and Registered Nurse, Elaine Langley checks the blood pressure of a woman in New Orleans Monica Hampton (standing) is a film producer but has been working as a volunteer at the VFP camp. (photo by Paul Gaskin).
Plenty volunteer, Ralph McAtee leads the morning meeting at the Veterans For Peace Volunteer Camp outside Covington, LA. Ralph is a Paramedic Supervisor with the Nashville Fire Department and served with the Plenty Ambulance Service in the South Bronx in the early 1980s. (photo by Lenore Norrgard)
PLENTY International is a nongovernmental relief and development organization. Donations to PLENTY are tax-deductible.
• PLENTY, P.O. Box 394, Summertown, TN 38483 •
Phone: 931-964-4323 Email:
(photo by Lenore Norrgard)
(photo by Lenore Norrgard)
Malik and Sharon Rahim helped to distribute relief supplies and set up a neighborhood clinic in Algiers, New Orleans.
Volunteers Katherine West, Kara French, Ralph McAtee, Gary Maclaughlin, Lenore Norrgard and Paul Gaskin.
Photo-journalist/writer and Plenty volunteer, Lenore Norrgard interviews a family in New Orleans. (Ralph. McAtee)
Elaine Langley, RN (center) with a family in front of their home in Biloxi, Mississippi.
Plenty volunteer Neal Bloomfield, right, talks with a member of the Houma community in Raceland, Louisiana.
(Photo by Paul Gaskin).
Plenty volunteers Neal Bloomfield, Joel Kachinsky, Jeffrey Keating, Jeffrey Clark and Carl Evertson joined with other volunteers to repair the roof of the Houma Tribal Office Building In Golden Meadow, LA. (Photo by Jeff Clark)
Photo by Lenore Norrgard
Historic meeting of ADIBE and UPAVIM staffs.
CENTRAL AMERICAN FOOD SECURITY By Chuck Haren
After my most recent technical support trip from July
6 through August 25, I can say with certainty that the annual small inputs of labor and material resources Plenty has provided for our Maya friends at the “Associacion Desarrollo Integral de Belen” (ADIBE) in Solola Guatemala, and the Associacion Soya de Nicaragua (SOYNICA) in Managua are paying off! With the soy foods program, we are responding to our partner’s interests
in developing successful models that address education, immedi- ate nutrition and small business development needs—ones that encourage other organizations or families to replicate something similar in their community. A broader goal of our work been to help make high nutrient low cost, locally grown foods more ac- cessible to people who most need them. It is great to report that over the past three years there have been several more non-profit organizations and small family businesses that have started to make and sell fresh soymilk, soy cereals and related products in these countries. There are also many more small farming families in Nicaragua and Guatemala who have told us that they want to start or expand production of organic non-GMO soybeans.
Plenty has supported the efforts of SOYNICA to grow their small business. It is now distributing thousands of pounds of dry cereal drink mixes (corn& soy, oats& soy, rice& soy), about 38,000 half liters of fresh soymilk and another 1,400 pounds of tofu and related foods every month. Because of the promotion activities and home soy food processing workshops conducted by SOYNICA over the last 16 years or more, in Nicaragua you can go to any major city’s open market and see that many small ven- dors have open 100-pound sacks of soybeans for sale right next to their red beans, rice and corn. People in the marketplace showed me that they knew about the nutrition and home economic value of soybeans. Many said they buy soybeans to make milk and related products at home!
with, ADIBE and “Unidas Para Vivir Mejor” (UPAVIM) in Guatemala City, are taking ac- tive roles in the formation of an Association of Soy Milk Producers. The formation of a regional association to promote soy foods is one of our CAFSI program goals. There re- mains much work to be done with all of our Central American Food Security Initiative (CAFSI) partners over the next year, and
we hope you can help. UPAVIM and the Huichol Center in Mexico will need Plenty’s continuing collaboration to get their new soy food and nutrition education programs firmly established in their communities. ADIBE and SOYNICA will need timely assistance as they attempt to significantly increase their production, sales and employ- ment opportunities. Plenty’s most urgent need for the CAFSI partners at this time is funding to meet the equipment and technical assistance requirements for ADIBE and the Huichol Center.
Report From Plenty Belize By Mark Miller
The energy level as we start this new school year is very high, as are our expectations for the GATE Program! GATE has expanded so that 18 of the 50 primary schools in the Toledo District will be active with school gardens this year. Plenty is helping to make a very big difference not only in the lives of today’s school children, but in the very institutions of learning in this beautiful, tropical country. The staff and parents from each of these schools have asked Plenty for assistance in setting up sustainable school gardens, and Plenty is continuing to take up this challenge. Working closely with the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Agriculture, and other Non-Governmental Organi- zations, Plenty is bringing organic agriculture into the primary schools. With it comes better nutrition, and increased environ- mental awareness, educational and economic opportunities.
After an extensive interview process, Plenty Belize recently hired two local young men to assist with the agricultural extension work to the schools on a regular basis. Mr. Ermain Requena is from the village of San Pedro Columbia, and Mr. Abib
(cont. p. 3)
In Guatemala the two organizations Plenty is working
Boys planting at Midway Village School
photo by Abib Palma
Palma is from the village of Forest Home. Both have good agri- cultural backgrounds, and have already proven themselves to be great additions to the Plenty team.
The Ministry of Education (MOE) recently assigned Mrs. Yvonne Codd to assist with bringing agriculture into the schools. Mrs. Codd works out of the Quality Assurance Division of the MOE in Belize City. During her visit on 12 September, Yvonne praised Plenty for our work. We look forward to work- ing closely with MOE to make gardens a permanent part of the schools in Toledo.
their inhibitions at The Farm. These children gain an experi- ence that they are not soon to forget. At a meeting with the case managers of the programs that sponsors the children, one woman said that her child had been asking her about KTC since-mid spring – the program wasn’t to begin until June.
Even with bikes and horseback riding in the morning, visits to the Ecovillage Training Center in the afternoon to plant pumpkins and corn and help to construct the cobb village, and the highly anticipated swimming hole after that, believe it or not, these children still have ENERGY! I found the day’s activities so engrossing that I was ready for bed on the first night, oh, at around 8:30 p.m.!
KTC is not all about the swimming hole, although 9 out of 10 kids might disagree. Daytime is welcomed with Morning Circle, led by the counselors, to get the children to focus on their purpose in being there. With questions like “how does it make you feel when Tommy is mean to you?” and “What are some things that make you frustrated?” the kids really begin to open up and learn the skills of anger management. Along with bas- ketball, snacks and a movie at night, there are conflict resolution classes, led by Sizwe Herring. The children learn how to deal with anger and frustration constructively while they begin to understand the consequences of their behavior, especially when it is destructive.
The program’s foundation and saving grace are its staff and counselors that keep the food coming and the kids smiling. Even though it may be strange to some, the children at KTC consume only vegetarian meals. “Soysage” and whole wheat pancakes for breakfast, soy burgers and burritos for lunch and pizza and spaghetti for dinner – makes me hungry just thinking about it. No weight was lost during KTC by anyone. Who knew soy could taste as good as or better than the real thing? Truth be told, most of the children didn’t even notice the difference.
It seems as though four days just wasn’t enough, and for most of the children who visit The Farm, it isn’t. The pro- gram accepts children from six to eleven years old with an op- portunity for some of the older kids to become junior counselors at thirteen. It is a constructive get-away that is looked forward to by all who attend.
Senior Counselor, Faith Hutchens (center) with KTC kids at the swimming hole. (photo by Anita Whipple)
Students show off seedlings for transplanting in the Conejo Village School garden. (photo by Ermain Requena)
At the time of this writing, we are starting our second week of school. Ermain, Abib, and myself visited the 17 schools that can be reached by land (the 18th, Punta Negra, can only be visited by sea) and talked with school staff about plans for this year. We now have a schedule so that 15 of these schools will re- ceive regular weekly visits from one of the three of us. The other 2 schools at Laguna and Mafredi have successful gardens, and will continue their programs without regular support from Plenty.
During our recent visits, many of the children’s faces lit up as they saw us, and many asked “When are we going to start in the garden?” This is a great experience, for them, for us, and for the people of Toledo. Thanks to everyone for your continued support of Plenty’s GATE Program in Belize.
Fun in the Sun, at The Farm By Adrienne—KTC volunteer
“I’m coming back next year too!” an excited 11-year old told me. In fact, the majority of the children that I met in Summertown, Tennessee at the Kids To The Country program expressed their desire to return the next summer, and some, even the next week.
It is interesting that we, as adults, often have so many reservations with regard to our surroundings. Most city-bred adults, like myself, despise the outdoors with the heat, bugs and dirt. Children, on the other hand, would rather BE sweating from the summer heat, catching and playing with the bugs and rolling around in the dirt. It is amazing to see how these city kids lose